A PRISON sentence for a homeless man who spat and swore at paramedics has been welcomed by West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Piotr Kij was sentenced to 28 days for the assault by beating of paramedic Kenneth Edwards and a further 28 days for the same offence against paramedic Anthony Price to run concurrently. He had admitted both charges.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said Kij’s behaviour had been completely unacceptable.

The court was told that on Saturday, October 6, Mr Edwards and Mr Price responded to a call that a man had suffered a cardiac arrest in Lowesmoor Wharf at 7.30am.

When they arrived they found Kij lying on the pavement in a pool of vomit and smelling of alcohol.

The 37-year-old began swearing at the pair after he was roused before spitting in the face of Mr Price and throwing a rucksack which missed them both.

Police were called while Kij wandered into the road, narrowly missing traffic, continuing to shout, swear and spit causing distress to passers-by.

When officers tried to detain him, Kij spat again, hitting Mr Edwards on the chest, and refused to be interviewed when he was taken to the police station.

Susie Duncan, defending, said he was remorseful but had reacted in such a way because he was frightened of needles and believed the paramedics were going to give him an injection. She said: “When the paramedics attended they found him to be intoxicated and he has limited recollection of the incident.”

Mrs Duncan said a community sentence was not appropriate because Kij could only speak limited English.

Chairman of the bench Clare Pilling said: “These assaults were on two paramedics carrying out their public duty, which is a serious matter, and the act of spitting is particularly aggravating.”

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: “It is completely unacceptable that ambulance staff who are responding to help people who have serious medical conditions or injuries should have to face anti-social behaviour, be it physical or verbal abuse.”