Mums bashed paramedic, beg not to be sent to jail
TWO mothers who drunkenly bashed a Melbourne paramedic, leaving him with a badly broken foot, have pleaded with a magistrate to spare them jail.
Experienced ambulance worker Paul Judd has not been able to return to work since the violent attack in April 2016 and has required multiple surgeries on his foot.
Amanda Warren, 31, and Caris Underwood, 20, have admitted punching and kicking Mr Judd as he and another paramedic tried to treat a patient in Reservoir.
They have both pleaded guilty to intentionally causing injury, while Warren has also admitted criminally damaging the ambulance by ramming it with a car.
Warren and Underwood faced Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Thursday for a plea hearing, which the victim Mr Judd attended in a moon boot.
Unless there are "special reasons", Victorian law demands a mandatory minimum jail term of six months for anyone who intentionally injures an emergency worker.
Prosecutor Nick Batten urged the magistrate to follow this law and jail the women for their "alcohol-fuelled violence" against an innocent paramedic.
"It is incomprehensible why anyone would assault an ambulance officer," he said.
"These are not authority figures. These are helping figures.
"This was an assault lasting some duration ... that requires denunciation by the court." But defence lawyers of Underwood and Warren argued special circumstances were present and the pair should avoid jail.
The court heard Underwood suffered abuse as a child, has a six-month-old child whose father had recently died, and was working hard to turn her life around.
"She has gone to such lengths, for a person who had the childhood she did, to become a different person," lawyer Sharon Lacy said.
Warren's lawyer said his client had no history of violence, suffered mental health issues that would make prison onerous, and had four young children who relied on her.
But the prosecutor said "run of the mill" factors should not be considered when contemplating if the mandatory jail term can be avoided.
The other paramedic with Mr Judd during the attack said she has suffered "survivor's guilt" after the incident and still has fear and anxiety.
"I felt I should have acted sooner, I should have yelled louder," Chenaye Bentley said in her victim impact statement.
"Each day I put on my uniform as a paramedic I am reminded that Paul is unable to.
"This assault will always be a dark period in my career as a trusted health professional." Magistrate Lance Martin will sentence Warren and Underwood, who are on bail, at a later date.