Aussie Man Who Brutally Bashed Paramedic While On A Drug Bender Avoids Jail
A man has avoided jail after brutally assaulting a paramedic during a drug bender. James Haberfield was instead placed on an 18-month mandatory treatment order for the savage assault of Monica.
The 22-year-old had taken a 'cocktail' of drugs at the Rainbow Serpent bush doof earlier this year and had to be taken to hospital. Before he could be discharged, Haberfield ran away and into a neighbourhood where he reportedly terrified locals.
When paramedics arrived, the man placed Monica in a headlock, punched her in the face and pinned her to the back of the ambulance.
Interestingly, Victoria passed laws earlier this year that makes it mandatory for a person to serve a minimum of six months behind bars if they assault an emergency service worker.
Haberfield's sentence has, naturally, angered a lot of people, including his victim.
"The attack back in January has had, and continues to have, devastating impacts on my life," she said outside court after the verdict was announced.
"Violence against anyone is unacceptable. Violence against paramedics, other emergency workers and health professionals is never OK.
"I intend to move forward from this incident and get back on the road in helping the community. Each individual is entitled to go to work and be safe."
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Monica hasn't been able to return to work since the January assault.
He originally avoided jail under a previous sentencing in August, however prosecutors appealed and hoped for some time behind bars. But County Court Judge Michael Tinney explained that that wasn't necessary.
"It is hard to imagine a person less likely to engage in a nasty, physical assault upon a female paramedic coming to your assistance," Judge Tinney said.
"You were behaving like a maniac.
"That should not lead people to think the laws are not working or will not work or will not be applied by judges. Indeed they are working, which is precisely why I am not sending you - a mentally unwell, disturbed and suicidal, youthful, first offender with reduced culpability - to an adult prison."
The judge revealed that Haberfield was not only not of sound mind because of the cocktail of drugs in his system, but also because he suffers from schizophrenia.
Victorian Ambulance Union secretary Danny Hill said the outcome was sad but wanted this to serve as a reason to tighten the law.
"The judge said, rightly, that this requires a shift in thinking from the courts," he said. "I don't think we're seeing a shift in thinking, or at least not a shift in outcomes."
Featured Image Credit: Channel 9
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