A British paramedic has pleaded guilty to the charge that he had sexually assaulted a 19-year-old girl as she was lying in a state of near-paralysis in his ambulance. He is now facing a jail term.
As is routine, Iain Finney, 33, was alone in the back of the ambulance with the patient to monitor her condition on the journey to hospital from Mercy, a nightclub in Norwich.
Believing she would not remember, he kissed her breasts and took photographs on his mobile phone.
When she arrived at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, she appeared to be so disorientated that it was initially assumed she was extremely drunk. But hospital tests showed her drink had been spiked with Rohypnol, a so-called date-rape drug.
One of the side effects of the drug is that the victim can barely move but has some awareness of what is happening.
And so she was able to recall what had happened and told the nurses.
And as she began to recover, she also sent a text message to her horrified mother.
Finney - who had served close to ten years with the East of England Ambulance Trust - initially denied the charges when questioned by police and supplied his wife's mobile phone claiming it was his own.
But a DNA examination found his saliva on his victim's breasts.
At Norwich Crown Court he pleaded guilty to sexual assault and perverting the course of justice - a charge relating to the mobilephone evidence.
Judge Simon Barham released him on bail for sentencing on February 5, saying all options remained open including jail.
A source close to the case said: 'Everyone has been left shocked and disgusted about what he did. People find it very hard to stomach that this could happen.
'The patient was in an extremely vulnerable position. As if being drugged was not bad enough, she was assaulted by someone who she thought had come to help her and that she could trust.
'Thankfully, it's extremely rare for something like this to happen.' Finney was suspended in November from practising as a paramedic and has since quit his post.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Trust said: 'The matter has been referred to the governing body, the Health Professions Council, which has suspended his practice as a paramedic.'
Last month, two paramedics with South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Trust were arrested on suspicion of neglect after a man died in their care.
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