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Pretend Shropshire paramedic given court order

South Shropshire | News | Published:

A troubled teenager who breached a court order to stop him from pretending to be a paramedic has received a community punishment after a judge heard he also impersonated an estate agent.

Benjamin Jones convinced two people he worked for the ambulance service – to the point of dressing in uniform, offering to treat a man's leg and inventing a story that he had seen a baby die.

The 19-year-old received a 12-month community order after admitting three breaches of an anti-social behaviour order imposed in October 2012 banning him from owning a paramedic uniform and telling people he was a medic.

Jones had also pretended to be an estate agent, Judge Robin Onions was told, at the sentencing at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Friday.

Judge Onions said: "It's the first time in my career that I have met someone who wanted to pass themselves off as an estate agent. But it is a respectable profession."

The court heard between January 17 and 22 Jones, of no fixed abode, introduced himself to a man in Tweedale, Telford, as a paramedic.

Wearing black boots, green trousers, a utility belt and a T-shirt identifying him as a medic, he offered to treat a man's leg after he fell while they were walking together.

He then introduced himself to a woman in Church Stretton as an undercover police officer before claiming he was a paramedic, offering her the use of an inhaler.

He texted the woman over the next few days, making up stories about what he had been up to, including cleaning his ambulance, going on 999 calls and trying and failing to save a baby's life.

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A subsequent police search of his home found he was in possession of a medical T-shirt and a medical catalogue, both of which were banned under the terms of his Asbo which was imposed after a string of similar impersonations.

Jones then spent eight and half months in Brinsford Young Offenders' Institution in Wolverhampton because he could not get funding for psychiatric care, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard on Friday. At an earlier hearing Deborah Southwell, of Shrewsbury Probation Service, said there was no way of getting the £4,000 a week funding for a place in a suitable home because Jones had not been diagnosed with a specific illness such as a personality disorder.

Judge Barrie told Jones: "

You gave a woman an inhaler. That was a seriously wrong thing to do because you do not have the medical knowledge as to whether that was a suitable inhaler for that young lady. And you had clothing which you used to deceive somebody into believing you were a paramedic."

Judge Onions sentenced Jones to a 12-month community order. He must report to probation and notify the service of any change of address.

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