Junior medic groped by smirking patient in an ambulance says it’s time to make a stand

Ross Lydall
Lizzie Smith, 25, was groped by a patient in the back of an ambulance

A junior medic groped by a patient she was treating in a London ambulance today told how he “sat there smirking” and showed no remorse.

Lizzie Smith, 25, waived her anonymity after Sabeh Shalmair was convicted of sexual assault and placed on the sex offender register for five years.

She said: “I always hoped that I would know what to say and do in that kind of moment, but I was so taken aback that I just didn’t say anything.

“Fortunately, my crew mate saw him and insisted he stop but he just sat there smirking.” Ms Smith, pictured, added: “Sadly, these incidents happen far more than they should and it isn’t acceptable.

“It shouldn’t be happening in the street, it shouldn’t be happening in nightclubs, and it shouldn’t be happening while I am working. I think it’s important to raise awareness that these sort of assaults will not be tolerated.”

The emergency ambulance crew medic and a colleague had been called to Willesden High Road in June after Shalmair suffered facial cuts in a late-night altercation.

He made her feel uncomfortable by staring at her and trying to maintain eye contact.

When she reached to put an item in a bin he grabbed her bottom. Police were already on the scene and arrested him.

At his sentencing hearing at Willesden magistrates’ court last Friday, Shalmair was ordered to do 120 hours of community service, and given a £250 fine.

Ms Smith said: “I am pleased with the sentence. This individual didn’t show any remorse and his community service will give him plenty of time to think about what he did.”

The Evening Standard last month revealed that London Ambulance Service staff had been attacked more than 2,000 times in the past five years.

There were 39 incidents of assault by grabbing — including sexual assault — between April and June this year. LAS chief operating officer Khadir Meer said: “We are determined to ensure that abuse is no longer seen as something which ‘goes with the job’.

“We will push for prosecutions and strong sentences for people who abuse or assault our staff and remain committed to working closely with police and prosecuting authorities to ensure this happens.”

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