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Medic’s plea after laser pen assault

A paramedic who had a laser pen shone in his eye while driving a patient to hospital has called for a specific law to protect ambulance staff.

John Corr, who has been assaulted four times while working, was temporarily blinded by a laser while driving on the Stewartstown Road in Belfast last Saturday.

Mr Corr's ambulance was at the Lagmore junction at 1am on Saturday when a car pulled alongside. An occupant inside then shone a laser through the window into the ambulance, hitting Mr Corr in the eye.

Incapacitated, his colleague was forced to take the wheel and drive their patient to Lagan Valley hospital in Lisburn. Mr Corr was later told by the specialist eye clinic at the Royal Victoria Hospital he had a burn to his retina.

Mr Corr said: “I appeal to whoever did this to sit back and think about what you are doing. Seconds can count in an emergency. The patient needs to be in hospital, not in the back of an ambulance.

“We are out there doing a job. We should have assaults on us regarded as a specific crime.”

Belfast Telegraph