A BENDIGO patient threatened a pregnant paramedic and her partner with a knife after they tried to transport her to hospital, a court has heard.
The 33-year-old woman charged with the assault appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting an ambulance officer and one count of threatening to inflict serious injury.
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Several Ambulance Victoria members were present in court to support the two paramedics.
The court heard about 11pm on September 20, 2019, the woman was drinking alcohol at home with her partner when she attempted self-harm.
Her partner contacted 000 and two Bendigo paramedics arrived at the property just before midnight.
The paramedics assessed the woman while she was on her kitchen floor. They tried to transport her to hospital, but she refused several times.
The woman then stood up and collected a knife from the kitchen bench. She turned to the paramedics with the knife, raising it up and waving it at them.
The court heard the paramedics were terrified and ran from the house to their ambulance, where they locked the vehicle and pressed the duress button.
The woman came out of the house after them and made slashing motions in the air before her partner restrained her.
Police arrived at the property about 12.20am and saw the paramedics in the ambulance and the woman pacing up and down the footpath. She was no longer holding a knife.
The police officers and the woman's partner restrained the 33-year-old while the paramedics again treated her.
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The woman was sedated so she could be brought to hospital. She later told police she remembered grabbing the knife, but that she was using it in self-defence and that she didn't want to hurt the paramedics.
The court heard she wrote and sent a letter of apology to the two paramedics.
The paramedics, who are in a relationship together, read out victim impact statements to the court on Wednesday.
The female paramedic, who was 30 weeks pregnant at the time of the assault, told the court the incident was the "most traumatic experience" of her life.
"I struggle to sleep with the memories of that night," she said. "I could not believe that someone we had tried to help would want to harm us.
"I feel an overwhelming sense of panic about what would have happened if her knife had made contact."
The male paramedic told the court he felt "sheer terror" for not only his own life that night, but the lives of his partner and unborn child.
"She showed no consideration for our wellbeing or safety," he said. "I still have the passion for my job, although that passion is tainted."
Defence lawyer Alex McLennan told the court his client was genuinely remorseful and accepted responsibility for her actions.
Mr McLennan said the woman had serious mental health issues and was dependent on alcohol at the time of the offending.
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He said she had a traumatic childhood and was sexually assaulted as a teen.
Mr McLennan said his client had no prior convictions and had been receiving treatment for her mental health and alcohol abuse.
He said given the woman's mental state, her moral culpability would be reduced and time in prison would be more difficult for her.
Mr McLennan submitted a community corrections order would be an appropriate sentence.
Prosecutor First Constable Matthew Hendry said police agreed a corrections order would be appropriate given the woman's significant mental health issues.
But First Constable Hendry said the court needed to send a message that it was not acceptable to assault front-line workers while they were trying to do their jobs.
Magistrate Patrick Southey indicated he would sentence the woman to a community corrections order.
Mr Southey said the woman's mental health, guilty plea, and no prior convictions were mitigating factors to the "terrible, serious offending".
"It's important for the community to hear loud and clear that ambulance officers can't be abused and assaulted," he said.
"But I'm satisfied you are genuinely remorseful. People like you are not good people to be made examples of."
The 33-year-old woman will return to court on Friday for sentencing.
Ambulance Victoria executive director of clinical operations Michael Stephenson was one of several paramedics present in court on Wednesday.
He said emergency service workers needed to be treated with respect.
"Both paramedics have been deeply affected and the concerns for them are ongoing," Mr Stephenson said.
"It is a serious offence and the court has acknowledged that today. So that's important.
"We would like society to understand that what's occurred is not acceptable.
"It's never acceptable to assault health care workers in their course of duty, nor is it acceptable to assault an emergency service worker in their course of duty.
"The law is very clear about that and the magistrate has made it very clear."
If you or someone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4634.
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