Paramedic sentenced over Walsall Manor Hospital death

CCTV still montage Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Matthew Geary can be seen on CCTV footage approaching Carl Cope, before walking away. The third image, taken five minutes later, shows a security guard attempting to help Mr Cope.

A paramedic has been sentenced for failing in his duty after the death of a man who collapsed outside a hospital.

Carl Cope, 47, died from a heart attack after suffering chest pains near the A&E department at Walsall's Manor Hospital in June 2012.

Matthew Geary, 36, from Manor Avenue, Great Wyrley, Staffordshire, admitted failing to discharge a duty.

He was given an eight-month jail term, suspended for two years.

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Media captionMatthew Geary can be seen standing outside Walsall Manor Hospital in the footage

Mr Cope was pictured on CCTV leaving the emergency department and going to a shop to buy a drink. On his return through the car park he was seen to collapse onto the floor while Geary - who had brought Mr Cope to the hospital with chest pains - watched from his ambulance.

The footage showed that Mr Cope was unattended for 30 seconds, after which Geary went to see him without taking any medical equipment, talked to him for about two minutes and returned to his ambulance.

Geary asked a security guard to help Mr Cope, the court heard, which he later admitted was a dereliction of duty.

Image copyright Family/West Midlands Police
Image caption Carl Cope (left) collapsed and died outside Walsall Manor Hospital, while paramedic Matthew Geary watched from an ambulance

Det Insp Justin Spanner, who led the two-year investigation, said Mr Cope had been treated "very poorly" and the circumstances surrounding his death "should not be swept under the carpet".

"Geary's actions were purely his own, as indicated by the CCTV which shows him with his hands in his pockets while Carl dies in front of him.

"He is no way an example of other ambulance staff, the vast majority of whom do a wonderful job in challenging circumstances," said Det Insp Spanner.

Geary no longer works as a paramedic, West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed.

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