Driver who held up ambulance on purpose sentenced

A dangerous driver who overtook an ambulance and purposefully blocked its path has been sentenced.

Albert Butler, 38, of Reading, was seen in dashcam footage driving in front of the emergency vehicle before breaking and deliberately driving slowly to obstruct it in Maidenhead.

The NHS South Central Ambulance was responding to a medical emergency when the red Suzuki Vitara "intentionally" slowed it down on 2 February, Thames Valley Police said.

Butler pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and obstructing or hindering an emergency worker at Reading Crown Court.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to dangerous driving and obstructing/hindering an emergency worker.

As well as his sentence, Butler was ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation activity days and 200 hours of unpaid work over an 18-month period.

He was also made to pay £600 in costs and banned from driving for three years.

Mark Ainsworth, director of operations at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This was the worst standard of driving suffered by one of our hard-working ambulance crews who were responding on blue lights to a potentially very serious emergency that I have ever seen.

"Our ambulance crews are highly-trained, able to safely drive at speed when necessary and I'm thankful that the vast majority of other road users are considerate when we need to travel on emergency lights.

"In this case, however, the senseless and irresponsible actions undertaken by the defendant put himself, other road users and our ambulance crew at risk of serious injury or even worse."