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Drunk 'suicide' driver hit paramedic with wheel bar

A MAN who attacked a paramedic while armed with a wheel brace and hammer after the ambulance had arrived to assist him has been given a two-year jail sentence.

James Doyle (33) claimed he was trying to take his own life when paramedics found him slumped over the wheel of his car.

His victim, Derek O'Rourke, said the attack made him question his line of work.

Doyle, of Glenshane Grove, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault and production of the wheel brace and hammer with intent to intimidate on March 13, 2009, on Ellensborough Drive.

Garda JP Donoghue told prosecuting counsel, Colm O'Briain, that an ambulance was called when Doyle was spotted slumped over the wheel of a car. When Mr O'Rourke and his colleague arrived they opened the car door and Doyle woke up.

Doyle told them to "just f*** off". He appeared highly intoxicated and when Mr O'Rourke tried to take the keys, Doyle called him a "f****** scumbag" and got out of the car.

He pushed Mr O'Rourke, causing him to fall backwards. He then tried to punch him but the paramedic dodged the blow.

Doyle then returned to the car and armed himself with a hammer and wheel brace. He told Mr O'Rourke he would "f****** kill" him and struck him on the shoulder with the wheel brace.

The paramedic was chased up the road by Doyle and threw his keys into a field in the hope Doyle would stop chasing him and go to retrieve them.

Doyle then threw the hammer at Mr O'Rourke but missed. He stopped chasing him and went to get the hammer and his keys. Gardai arrived shortly afterwards and arrested Doyle.

The judge suspended the final 12 months of the sentence for five years and disqualified him from driving for five years.