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12 February 2015, 09:20
West Midlands Ambulance service has said sorry after one of it's paramedics failed to help a man who was dying outside Walsall Manor hospital.
36 year old Matt Geary was given an 8 month suspended sentence yesterday after he stood with his hands in his pocket while Carl Cope had a heart attack in 2012.
Geary and his colleague were called when Carl dialled 999 after collapsing on a grass verge on Hawbush Road − not far from his home address − at around 10.15am on 23 June 2012.
Geary − who was responsible for determining the course of treatment for Carl − took him to Walsall Manor Hospital accident and emergency department.
Footage from the hospital waiting room shows Carl struggling to make himself comfortable and visibly in a lot of pain. After seven minutes, he goes to a nearby shop to get a drink.
On his way back through the car park − in full view of Geary who is sat inside his ambulance − Carl is seen collapsing outside the hospital doors.
Geary watches from the ambulance as Carl remains on the ground for more than 30 seconds.
Struggling to his feet, Carl only manages a few steps before collapsing for a second - and last - time.
Geary, fully aware he brought Carl to the hospital suffering from chest pains, is finally seen on CCTV going to his patient.
He takes no equipment with him and stands over Carl, with his hands in his pockets, talking to him for two minutes. Geary takes a closer look at Carl and then wrongly asks the hospital security to deal with him, before returning to his ambulance.
When the security guard is seen arriving five minutes later, Carl Cope did not appear to be showing any signs of life.
A post mortem revealed Carl (pictured right) died of a heart attack. Expert evidence indicated that had Carl’s chest pain been considered cardiac and had he been monitored then his chances of survival would have been significantly higher.
Geary was among five ambulance and hospital staff arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in connection with Carl’s death in December 2012.
But, detectives were unable to proceed with the manslaughter charges because there was a chance Carl may not have survived his heart attack. "We had seen the CCTV footage of Carl collapsing and listened to his 999 call," said Detective Inspector Justin Spanner, who led the two-year investigation into Carl’s death.
He added: "Carl had been treated very poorly and we were determined the circumstances surrounding his death were not simply swept under the carpet.
"We couldn’t move forward with a manslaughter prosecution so we began to investigate what other offences may have been committed.
"Three people − Geary, another ambulance worker and a nurse − who were no longer working in their jobs as a result of the initial investigation, were then charged with failing to discharge their duties in taking care of the health and safety of Carl Cope."
Geary, aged 36 and of Manor Avenue, Great Wyrley, admitted the charge against him in December 2014 with charges against the other two later being dropped. Today (11 February) he was handed an eight month suspended sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 240 hours community service.