Paramedic jailed for a year for assaulting two women in first aid class

HSE employee Andrew Long (36) placed choke hold on Mary Nihill and Elise McMahon

Andrew Long (36), whose  job as a paramedic was now finished, the court heard.

Andrew Long (36), whose job as a paramedic was now finished, the court heard.

 

A judge has jailed for one year a HSE paramedic who “patently abused” his position of trust when assaulting two female first aid students.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keys imposed a two year jail term, suspending the final year, on Andrew Long (36) for the assault causing harm on Mary Nihill when he placed her in a choke hold six years ago.

Judge Keys imposed a four month jail term for the assault on mother of three Elise McMahon to run concurrently to the two year term.

Judge Keys said that an aggravating factor in the case was that Long of Carraig Dubh, Tobertaosceain, Ennis had shown no remorse or concern for the welfare of his victims.

The judge said that another aggravating factor was that one of Long’s victims, Ms McMahon, was seven months pregnant at the time of the assault during an evening Civil Defence first aid class at the Vocational Education Centre in Scarriff, Co Clare in March 2013.

Long rendered mother of one Ms Nihill unconscious with his choke hold and in evidence, Ms Nihill told the court that after the incident “I was in shock. I thought I was in safe hands with a professional paramedic. He tried to knock me out - he did knock me out.”

Describing the assault on her, Ms McMahon told the court that Long wrapped his arm around her neck from behind.

“My airwaves were cut off. I was conscious, but literally I couldn’t talk,” she said. “It scared me. The only way to stop was to push my body forward.”

The defendant’s counsel, Des Hayes BL told the court his client’s job as a paramedic was now finished.

Judge Keys said he had taken into account Long’s employment prospects when imposing sentence. He granted a stay of one week and remanded Long on bail, ordering him to attend court next Tuesday where he will be brought into custody.