Partygoer Who Assaulted Two Paramedics Avoids Jail

Ambulance Union outraged

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A young partygoer who assaulted two paramedics after consuming "a cornucopia" of drugs at Victoria's alternative Rainbow Serpent Festival has avoided a mandatory jail sentence.

James Haberfield, 22, became the first person under new Victorian laws on Wednesday to be slapped with mandatory treatment and monitoring for offenders who attack emergency workers.

However he avoided a minimum six-month jail term also required under the new laws, which came into effect last October.

On January 29 this year, Haberfield returned to Melbourne after the four-day music and arts festival during which he consumed "a cocktail of drugs" including ecstasy, ice, MDMA and ketamine.

He knocked on the door of a Coburg home, walking inside and terrifying the residents, who he did not know.He then assaulted two paramedics who came to care for him.

The paramedic driving the ambulance sedated him with midazolam before he was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital, where he underwent treatment for more than a week.

Magistrate Simon Zebrowski said Haberfield's impaired mental state that day wasn't solely due to self-inflicted intoxication as he had pre-existing autism spectrum disorder and a major depressive disorder.

Haberfield was given an 18-month community corrections order and must undergo mandatory treatment.

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28 August 2019

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