Paramedics locked in property, feared for lives: court
TWO paramedics have given an emotional account after they were allegedly locked inside a rural property and used bolt cutters to flee after "fearing for their lives".
Giving evidence against Karl Mark Gebicki, who has pleaded not guilty to the charge of obstructing or hindering an ambulance officer, Gin Gin advanced care paramedics Jason Thompson and Melissa Bayntun detailed their versions of the alleged offence on September 27 last year.
During the hearing in Bundaberg Magistrates Court, Mr Thompson, a paramedic with 17 years experience, said they responded to a call from Mr Gebicki's pregnant wife Peri, who lived in a makeshift house in a shipping container on their Mt Perry property.
Mr Thompson said inside the dimly-lit container they noticed a young child sitting in a cot.
Mr Thompson said when he told Mr Gebicki that the child and his wife, who was suffering Cellulitis, were coming with them for urgent medical attention, things took a frightening turn.
"Karl said "nobody's leaving without me'," he said.
"He grabbed a CB radio and said 'Lock the gates, lock the gates, secure the premises, nobody's to enter or exit'.
"At that stage I was in utter shock ... I just wanted to get out of there.
"I felt fear for my life, for my partner and for his wife and his child."
Mr Thompson said they loaded Mr Gebicki's wife and child into the ambulance and headed towards the gate.
"As I approached the gate I could see there was two bike locks," he said.
"I got out of the vehicle and there was an older woman standing there.
"I said 'Unlock the gate'.
She said "I can't do it, I haven't been told to'."
When she refused multiple requests Mr Thompson said he grabbed bolt cutters from his safety kit to open the locks before driving to the Mt Perry police station.
Under cross examination, Mr Gebicki questioned whether the locks were actually locked.
"I don't know if I cut the locks or popped them open but it got the job done," Mr Thompson replied.
Through tears Ms Bayntun gave her evidence, recalling she was so disturbed by the uneasy and intense feeling in the shipping container that she'd tried to block it out.
"Inside the container had a very uncomfortable presence," she said.
Ms Bayntun said when she heard Mr Gebicki get on the radio and ask for the gates to be locked she warned him he was committing an offence and could be charged by police.
Representing himself, at the conclusion of the evidence for both sides, Mr Gebicki submitted that he tried to stop the ambulance leaving because they were breaching legislation by not properly restraining the child in the ambulance.
But Magistrate John Smith berated Mr Gebicki for his comments, saying he'd elected not to give evidence and had provided nothing to support his line of defence.
"You've got to be kidding," Magistrate Smith said.
"You've given no evidence of that being your state of mind.
"Two ambulance officers where there for the treatment of your wife and child, you should have embraced that fact."
Magistrate Smith will consider the evidence and withheld delivering his verdict until tomorrow.