Paramedic sexually assaulted patient in back of ambulance, court told
- Credit: Carla Money
A “predator” paramedic raped a patient in her own home and sexually assaulted another in the back of his ambulance, a court heard.
Andrew Wheeler, 46, responded to an emergency call to help a collapsed drunk woman in 2018, Peterborough Crown Court was told.
Noel Casey, prosecuting, said Wheeler attended an address in a Cambridgeshire town where the drunk woman was with friends.
He was working as a single-crew paramedic, and he reassured two other paramedics who arrived as a dual-crew that he had things under control and would stay to finish up paperwork.
“That’s unfortunately not what’s happened,” Mr Casey told Wednesday’s hearing.
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“After that dual crew left the scene the defendant took it upon himself to take her from the friend’s address back to her home address.”
He is accused of raping the intoxicated woman and sexually assaulting her inside her home.
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As Wheeler left her home “he said something about losing his job and nobody would believe her as she was an alcoholic”, Mr Casey said.
The woman reported the incident to police and he was arrested later that day.
Other alleged victims later came forward.
One woman said that Wheeler raped her in 2008, and that in 2009 he sexually assaulted her in the back of his ambulance.
She had dialled 999 as she was experiencing breathing difficulties, Mr Casey said.
“He took the opportunity to touch her breasts and while administering adrenalin he said ‘that’s not the first time I’ve had to jab you with something’,” Mr Casey said.
He went on: “She was a patient.
“She was struggling to breath in the back of an ambulance.
“He was there as a clinician wearing an NHS uniform - a uniform you may feel carries with it, and the person wearing it, to receive some trust.
“They’re trusted because that uniform reflects their professionalism of the job that goes with it.”
Wheeler, of Mill Green, Warboys, Cambridgeshire, is accused of 12 sexual offences against five alleged victims spanning 2002 to 2018.
He is accused of placing the hand of a woman, who was a patient, on his genitals over his clothing in 2010.
The woman “recognised (Wheeler) was a predator using his job, using the uniform to get women to do exactly what he wanted”, Mr Casey said.
“She was worried he might do it again.”
He said the woman reported the incident to police at the time, but the investigation was dropped amid concern’s over the woman’s mental health.
Police looked into it again after further allegations came to light, Mr Casey said.
Wheeler is also accused of five counts of rape against another woman, who was not a patient, between 2002 and 2013, and of two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13, who was not a patient.
He denies all charges.
Mr Casey said Wheeler was “indiscriminate in who he assaulted”, adding: “He was abusing the trust that an NHS uniform brings with it.”
Opening the prosecution case, he told jurors: “We say a picture will emerge of a callous sexual abuser who at the time thought he was untouchable.
“He thought he could do anything but, as it happened, the investigation, stage by stage elongated back over the years.
“A lot of these things have come back and they have caught up with him.”
Wheeler is accused of seven counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault, one of causing sexual activity without consent and two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13.
Cambridgeshire Police said the offences are alleged to have taken place while Wheeler was working as a paramedic for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust and volunteering for St John Ambulance.
The trial continues.