Man sentenced for dangerous driving and obstructing emergency worker – Maidenhead
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Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a man has been given a suspended prison sentence after he was convicted of dangerous driving and obstructing/hindering an emergency worker in Maidenhead.
Albert Butler, aged 38, of Windermere Road, Reading, pleaded guilty to the offences in a hearing at Reading Magistrates' Court on 10 August.
Appearing at Reading Crown Court yesterday (2/11), he sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 200 hours of unpaid work over an 18-month period.
Butler was also banned from driving for three years and given costs of £600.
On Wednesday 2 February this year, paramedics in a marked ambulance for South Central Ambulance Service were driving along the A4 Bath Road, Reading towards Maidenhead, responding to a medical emergency of a collapsed man.
The driver had activated emergency equipment on the ambulance, which included the lights and sirens.
The ambulance overtook a red Suzuki Vitara, being driven by Butler.
The Suzuki then overtook the ambulance, pulling directly in front of it and braking, intentionally slowing the ambulance down.
The ambulance continued along the A4 and Butler proceeded to overtake other members of the public who had pulled over to allow the ambulance to pass.
Butler then slowed down again, blocking the ambulance’s path.
Butler continued to block the path of the ambulance along Wargrave Road, where he continued to brake heavily, weave in the road and encroach onto the wrong side of the road.
The driving was captured on the ambulance dash-cam and was also partly recorded by the ambulance passenger on her phone.
Investigating officer Sergeant Matt Cadmore of the Roads Policing Unit based at Taplow, said: “The manner of Butler’s driving was completely unacceptable.
“In deliberately attempting to hinder the progress of this ambulance, he was putting other road at great risk, and at the same time, delaying an emergency vehicle en route to a medical emergency.
“This sort of behaviour on our roads will not be tolerated and we will take robust action against anybody who seeks to drive in this manner.
“Butler will have to complete an extended driving test at the conclusion of his disqualification in order to get his licence back, and has been given a suspended prison sentence, which will be enacted immediately should he be convicted of any other offences.
“When you see an emergency vehicle with blue lights and sirens activated, please allow them to pass when it is safe to do so.
“Seconds can make all the difference when an ambulance is on an emergency call, and the delays that Butler caused could have had significant impacts to the call that they were attending.”
Mark Ainsworth, Director of Operations at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This was the worst standard of driving suffered by one of our hard-working ambulance crews who were responding on blue lights to a potentially very serious emergency that I have ever seen.
“Our ambulance crews are highly-trained, able to safely drive at speed when necessary and I’m thankful that the vast majority of other road users are considerate when we need to travel on emergency lights.
“In this case, however, the senseless and irresponsible actions undertaken by the defendant put himself, other road users and our ambulance crew at risk of serious injury or even worse. I have been in touch with the crew and thanked them for maintaining their professionalism at such a distressing time.
“I would also like to thank Thames Valley Police for their help in bringing the conviction and taking a dangerous driver off our roads for the next three years at least.”