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Paramedic’s sexual misconduct case thrown out on technicality

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 14, 2014

By Nick Webster

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Gloucester Crown Court, where criminal charges against a paramedic were dropped

CRIMINAL charges against a paramedic who had a sexual relationship with one of his patients have been dropped on a legal technicality.

Mark Camp, 58, was charged with misconduct while in public office following the brief relationship last year.

Prosecutor Janine Wood told Gloucester Crown Court a case in the Court of Appeal in February had established that a paramedic could not be deemed as someone holding “public office”.

She requested the charges against Mr Camp of The Links, in Coleford, be dropped.

Defending, Joe Maloney said Mr Camp had since resigned from his job with the ambulance service after the allegation was made.

Judge Jamie Tabor QC ordered defence costs of £420 be paid for the defendant’s previous appearances at court.

Mr Camp’s employer, the South Western Ambulance Service, said he had been dismissed from his position, as he had not formally tendered a letter of resignation.

Melanie Glanville, senior communications officer at South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The trust carried out an internal investigation into the incident and the findings led to the paramedic being dismissed from the service.”

Mr Camp was approached by the Citizen to comment on the court ruling, but declined.

Mr Camp said he wanted to “put the incident behind him”.

Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was also asked for a comment on the incident, but declined.

A TEST case for misconduct of paramedics whilst on duty was heard by three of the country's most senior judges at London's Criminal Appeal Court in February.

William Thomas Mitchell admitted fondling a patient in the back of an ambulance in Durham, but was cleared on a legal technicality.

The 57-year-old was captured on CCTV as he fondled a grandmother’s breasts and put her hand on his groin after being sent to her home following an emergency call.

He admitted misconduct in a public office at Durham Crown Court in December, when the judge dismissed an attempt to get the case thrown out. But Mitchell was cleared.

Sir Brian Leveson, who led the inquiry into press standards, said Mitchell should not have been charged with the offence as he was not a ‘public official’.

CCTV from the ambulance backed up the victim’s account. Sir Brian said Mitchell had ‘failed in his duty to his patient and his employers’.

Alison Levitt QC, for the Crown Prosecution Service, argued a paramedic did meet the criteria of ‘public office’ as they were frontline staff, responding to emergencies. The public had to trust that they would fulfil their duties with ‘probity and propriety’.

But Sir Brian said: “In our judgment, the appellant was not - in his position as a paramedic - in a public office.”

Misconduct by health workers is dealt with by The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which suspended Mitchell from working in the health service.

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