Man laughed as he urinated from balcony on to paramedic as she treated assault victim

Paramedic Lorna McIlwaine said that she had been assaulted before but this felt 'so personal'

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The Independent Online

A man urinated from a fourth-floor balcony in Shoreditch on to a paramedic who was treating a victim of assault down below.

Andrew Whitehead, 22, from Shoreditch, relieved himself from the balcony of an address on Shoreditch High Street on to Paramedic Lorna McIlwaine, the patient she was treating and a police officer at around 1am on Saturday 31 January.

Ms McIlwaine, 30, said that she had been called to treat a man who had suffered a broken nose and black eye in an unprovoked attack in a shop.

“I was walking with him to my response car with a police officer when, without any warning, I felt a splash. I didn’t know what it was at first but it became very clear it was a bodily fluid.

“I looked up and there was a man standing there, exposing himself to the whole street, laughing.”

She added that she had been physically assaulted before but what made this incident so different was that it felt “so personal.”

“What makes this even more frustrating is that I needed to return to my station to change my uniform and fill in my report, which prevented me from responding to patients.”

Mr Whitehead was arrested by police and later charged. He was fined £250 and sentenced to 300 hours community service at Thames Magistrates’ Court on 20 February.

London Ambulances Service’s Deputy Director of Operations Katy Millard said: “To treat our ambulance crews in such a demeaning and humiliating way is completely unacceptable. Our paramedics are only trying to care for patients in their time of need.

“Medics are under a great deal of pressure. It is completely unacceptable that they should also face the risk of this treatment or worse when they go to assist members of the public.”

A 2012 court ruling said that public urination can be acceptable in certain situations and locations but only if it is not “obviously visible.” Mr Whitehead’s case, of course, could not be any more of a distinct opposite.