Woman who left ambulance barefoot needs support more than punishment

April 18th, 2019 7:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

Ambulance crew called gardaí.

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A 21-YEAR-old Dunmanway woman who was verbally abusive to ambulance personnel was discovered barefoot by gardaí in Clonakilty after she got out of the ambulance that had been transporting her.

Alana O’Driscoll of East End House, Coolmountain, Dunmanway did not appear at a recent sitting of Clonakilty District Court to face two public order charges arising from the incident. 

The State withdrew a charge of being drunk in a public place on a plea to the second charge of using or engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour. 

Sgt Paul Kelly told the court  that on April 4th last year at 1.30am gardaí received a call from ambulance control that a patient being transported between Skibbereen and Clonakilty had become verbally abusive to ambulance personnel while they were treating her.

‘They had to pull in at Clonakilty and she walked out of the ambulance barefoot having tried to open the door while it was moving,’ said Sgt Kelly.

‘The ambulance staff were concerned for her and immediately contacted the gardaí. She was located in a different part of the town at around 2.20am by gardaí. She was highly drunk and didn’t know where she was and help was offered to her, but she became argumentative and was then arrested.’

Sgt Kelly said the defendant has 13 previous convictions including two for criminal damage, two for assaulting garda officers and she also received a two-year suspended sentence for cruelty charges.

Defence solicitor Flor Murphy said his client had been in an accident in Skibbereen earlier that night where she fell and hurt her hand. He added that most of her previous convictions go back to when she was younger and she has a history of depression and anxiety.

‘She is on quite a lot of medication and shouldn’t have mixed alcohol with it. She got paranoid that night and the ambulance staff were trying to help her but she needed to get out of the ambulance,’ said Mr Murphy.

‘She apologises to the ambulance staff and the gardaí and accepts her behaviour was out of order.’

Judge James McNulty said the defendant was probably deserving of support more than punishment and noted that she is already under the care of the Probation Service.

Judge McNulty said her ‘escapade’ caused alarm and wasted the time of public servants and he convicted her on the public order charge and deferred imposing penalty until November 22nd. 

‘This won’t be dealt with by a fine and the best she can hope for is doing community service instead of going to prison,’ said Judge McNulty, who directed that the Probation Service look into her suitability for community service.



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