A FATHER of three who sexually assaulted a woman whilst intoxicated has been given a suspended sentence.
Marak Michalak, a lorry driver from Poland of no fixed abode, appeared at Chester Magistrates’ Court charged with sexually assaulting a paramedic whilst he was in their care.
The court heard how Michalak, a married man, ran his hands across the buttocks and groped a medical professional who was tending to him after he collapsed in a pub.
The court heard that the 37-year-old has been acting in an agressive manner towards customers at the Wheatsheaf pub on Overpool Road in Ellesmere Port on February 26 and was heavily intoxicated and so police were called.
Paramedics were then called to the pub following concerns about Michalak’s condition, who entered to find him laying on the ground being treated by the police.
Michalak was then put on a stretcher, and whilst in the care of a woman who was preparing to to take him to hospital, he ran his hand across her buttock, which at first she dismissed as an accident until it happened again.
Paramedics proceeded to take Michalak to a local hopsital, but when they arrived in the ambulance the defendant ran his hand up the womans leg and on to her buttock over her clothes, and then squeezed her buttock.
Prosecuting, Rob Youds said: “The defendant said he had eight or nine pints which affected his memory and he said he could not remember.
“The main aggravating feature here obviously is that it was an assault on a paramedic which took place in an ambulance which is an enclosed space.”
Mr Youds said that Michalak has no previous convictions in the UK, but that they did not know his record from Poland.
In Michalak’s defence, Richard Simm said that his client had parked up in a lorry park in a nearby lorry park in Ellesmere Port and he had gone for a walk around the town.
“He then went to the Wheatsheaf where the ambulance was called and had been drinking and said he has very little recollection of the events,” Mr Simm said.
“Clearly something had occured in the pub which warrented the ambulance being called as he had collapsed.
“The aggrevating factor here is that it occured against a paramedic in the course of her duties, but the offence was over the clothes and not on bare skin, and he clearly entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.”
Michalak was due to return to Poland, which Mr Simm said could impact on his employment.
“This conviction may have a negative impact on his work but we don’t know yet as we haven’t spoken to his employers. The difficult position we are in is how do you deal with the sentence of someone in these circumstances?,” Mr Simm added.
“It may pass into the custody threshold because of its nature but in terms of mitigation is his lack of previous convictions and his prompt guilty plea so if you did feel it passes in to the custody threshold then you could suspend.”
Sentencing, the chair of the Magistrates’ said: “You did plead guilty to this offence but we do see it as a serious abuse of turst of a paramedic on the course of her duties in the confined space of an ambulance.”
Michalak was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment which Magistrates’ suspended for 24 months due to his prompt guilty plea, lack of previous convictions, remorse and cooperation.
The defendant was also ordered to pay a fine of £440, £85 costs, £100 compensation to the paramedic and a victim surcharge of £115.
He will also be placed on the sex offenders register for seven years.
See full story in the Chester Leader