999 boss on drink-drive charge

A PARAMEDIC was more than three times the drink-drive limit when he crashed his ambulance into an Oxford shop, a judge was told yesterday.

The Volvo V70 response car was left embedded in the shop front in Woodstock Road on November 30, 2010, and police discovered bottles of beer and an open bottle of whiskey inside.

The driver had fled and now former South Central Ambulance Service operations manager Robert King, who usually drove the vehicle, says he cannot remember the incident and denies driving with excess alcohol.

He was found bleeding and lying on the ground in nearby Banbury Road, the trial at Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.

The 48-year-old later told police he was the “normal user” of the V70 estate – which had emergency lights, oxygen tanks and medical supplies – and was driving it earlier that day, but said he only remembered being treated for his injuries at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Prosecutor Susan Clegg said a blood test showed he had 274 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.

Pc Spencer Treherne, who found the defendant in Banbury Road, said in a statement King told him he had served as a paratrooper in the Falklands and had been a paramedic for 16 years but had “****ed it in five minutes”.

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Pc Martin Mann told District Judge Tim Pattinson he saw King – of Merton Road, Ambrosden, Bicester – at the hospital just before midnight on the 30th.

He said: “He was very loud, aggressive, swearing, and I immediately formed the impression he was intoxicated. (He was) very volatile and would not co-operate with the medical staff.” Describing talking to King shortly afterwards, Pc Mann added: “(He said) words to the effect, and I will put it in language he used: ‘I’ve ****ed it up. I’ve worked to get here for years and now I’ve thrown it all away. Where’s the car gone? What’s happened to the car?’ Things of that nature.”

However, under cross examination Pc Mann admitted not making a statement about the case for the prosecution until January 19, 2011, and looking at a colleague’s notes before compiling his.

Pc Murray Maclean said he had obtained consent from King and a JR doctor for a blood sample to be taken in the hospital at 1.46am.

He denied King’s solicitor’s suggestion that the defendant had been unconscious and unable to consent.

Police doctor Richard Lloyd said King was fully conscious and “proffered his arm” for the blood to be taken. King then chose one of the two vials of blood to keep for his own uses, as was police procedure, he added.

Judge Pattinson dismissed an application from Phillip Lucas, defending, to have the case thrown out after the prosecution evidence.

Mr Lucas had claimed there was no firm evidence King was driving and that the blood sample was taken without consent.

The trial continues.

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