G4S ambulance crew members ‘accidentally recorded themselves saying they could ‘beat the f*** out of’ a mental health patient with a fire extinguisher then claim self-defence’
- The driver and crew member had the conversation while unknowingly leaving the Kent mental health patient a voicemail message
- The driver warned his colleague the homeless man ‘ain’t gonna be the best’
- He said: ‘That’s why we’ve got the fire extinguisher. Take it off the hook now and you’ve got something to hit him with’
Two private ambulance crew members who discussed beating ‘the f***’ out of a mentally ill patient with a fire extinguisher – leaving him ‘beaten to a pulp’ then claiming self defence – accidentally left their conversation on the patient’s phone as a voicemail.
The pair have now been suspended, although employer G4S will not say whether they are still on full pay.
The patient, 43, told The Guardian the ambulance was dispatched last week to take him for an MRI scan after a stomach rupture.
He has mental health problems and had been rehoused in temporary emergency council accommodation in Kent the previous week, but had never been picked up by the crew before and has no history of being aggressive towards G4S staff.
The crew in a G4S ambulance discussed preparing to beat the patient ‘to a pulp’ (stock photo)
Nonetheless, on a voicemail from the driver to say the ambulance was running late to take him to William Harvey hospital in Ashford, he heard the driver say: ‘He’s homeless, he’s aggressive, he’s suicidal, so he ain’t gonna be the best, is he?’
He went on: ‘You don’t need to take him if you don’t feel safe with him. That’s why we’ve got the fire extinguisher. Take it off the hook now and you’ve got something to hit him with. You’d rather be prosecuted, wouldn’t you, for beating a patient to a pulp than that patient beating you to a pulp, wouldn’t you, as a choice of the two?’
When the other man in the vehicle agrees, the driver continues: ‘D’you want a broken arm, a broken jaw, black eyes, or do you want to beat the f*** out of someone and then get prosecuted? You could still say it was self-defence.’
His colleague adds: ‘And get suspended for six months while they check up on it.’
The driver adds that he would then be able to relax in his garden. He even then notices what a ‘long message’ the pair have left – apparently without realising what had been recorded.
He patient told the paper the message had left him distraught and that he had self-harmed as a result.
He said the pair had been ‘nicey-nice’ when they arrived, until he told them what he had heard.
‘They tried to apologise and I said it’s a bit late for that,’ he said.
William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent, where the patient was headed for an MRI scan
On May 10 G4S wrote to him offering an apology for his ‘poor experience with [their] service’ and later managers came to his house.
The patient said he was told by Sheerness police that they would not pursue charges because he had not been threatened directly by the G4S crew.
G4S provides patient transport for the NHS in Kent, in addition to five other contracts in the region.
In 2013 a G4S security guard, Clive Carter, was jailed for 20 years after bludgeoning to death Khanokporn Satjawat with a fire extinguisher at a conference in Glasgow.
The patient said: ‘When I read about the woman who had been killed with the fire extinguisher, I thought: this could have been me.’
Managing Director of G4S Patient Transport Services, Russell Hobbs, told MailOnline: ‘We are appalled by these comments. We have apologised unreservedly to the patient and the employees concerned have been suspended pending a full internal investigation.
‘The comments are completely unacceptable and do not represent our values or the views of the rest of our hardworking team.’
Medway Clinical Commissioning Group called the incident ‘completely unacceptable’ and said it ‘welcomed’ G4S’s suspension of the pair.
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