Father pleads guilty to ambulance officer assault

A Palmerston North man assaulted an ambulance officer because he felt she was not giving the right care to his son, a court has heard.

In the Palmerston North District Court this morning, Donald Munro, 39, said his son was not breathing and was turning blue when an ambulance arrived at his house on March 16.

According to a police summary, Munro handed his son to a female ambulance officer but soon started to abuse her.

The ambulance officer tried to calm Munro while attending to the boy.

Munro pushed the woman multiple times, at one point pushing her hard enough to make her fall into a stretcher.

He then threatened her, saying he would hunt her down and hurt her.

Another ambulance officer assisted the woman, and they took the boy to the Palmerston North Hospital.

Munro turned up soon after, but was still in an aggressive mood.

When denied entrance to the emergency ward due to his mood, he punched the reception glass and put his hand under the glass to push computer monitors.

Munro, 39, pleaded guilty to charges of assault, threatening behaviour and disorderly behaviour today in relation to the incidents.

While standing in the dock, he said he was panicking at the time because of his son's condition.

He told the ambulance officer to put the boy on a respirator, but she did not do so immediately, he said.

"I didn't mean to threaten anyone, and I'm just thankful [my son is] alive."

Munro said he was on a very high dose of codeine at the time to treat a head injury, and had drunk two beers that evening.

The combination of prescription drugs and alcohol had put him in a bad frame of mind, he said.

Judge Jennifer Binns convicted Munro and remanded him until June for sentencing.

The Manawatu Standard