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Cambridgeshire paramedic Andrew Wheeler guilty of sex attacks

image captionAndrew Wheeler will be sentenced next month

A paramedic has been found guilty of raping a patient in her own home and sexually assaulting another female patient in the back of his ambulance.

Andrew Wheeler, 46, from Warboys, Cambridgeshire, had denied 18 sexual offences between 2002 and 2018.

He was found guilty of charges including raping two women and sexual assault on a child aged under 13.

Prosecutor Noel Casey had described him as a "callous sexual abuser who thought he was untouchable".

"He abused the privilege and trust that wearing an NHS uniform brings," he said.

Wheeler has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 12 February at Peterborough Crown Court.

image captionPolice said it was "feasible" there may be other victims who are yet to come forward

The court heard Wheeler, of Mill Green, was on duty in a rapid response car when he was called to help a woman who had collapsed.

He drove the woman, who was drunk, to her own house, where he raped and sexually assaulted her.

The jury also convicted Wheeler of raping a second woman on an occasion when she was not a patient, and of sexually assaulting her in the back of his ambulance when she was a patient a year later.

Det Ch Supt Martin Brunning called Wheeler "a predatory individual whose offending has spanned nearly a decade".

"It is feasible that over the significant span of time in which Wheeler was offending, there may be other victims who have not come forward," he said.

The offences took place when Wheeler was working for the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST).

Police believe his decision to become a paramedic "was influenced by the access it would give him to potentially vulnerable members of the public and this breach of trust makes his appalling offences all the more deplorable".

image copyrightPA Media
image captionAndrew Wheeler worked for the East of England Ambulance Service

Wheeler was found guilty of six sexual offences - the rape and sexual assault of two women, and two counts of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 in respect of a girl who was not a patient.

He was cleared of causing sexual activity without consent in respect of a third female patient.

He was also cleared of six counts of rape against a woman who was not a patient. The jury was discharged, having failed to reach verdicts on five counts of rape against the woman.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it had decided against seeking a retrial on the counts where jurors could not reach a verdict.

image copyrightSouth Beds News Agency
image captionPolice praised the "bravery" of Andrew Wheeler's victims

Det Ch Supt Brunning said Wheeler had "caused a huge amount of suffering and trauma for his victims" and paid tribute to their "bravery in coming forwards".

"I can't imagine what they have gone through but I hope the result allows them to continue rebuilding their lives knowing that justice has been done," he added.

Wheeler was suspended by EEAST in 2018 and dismissed in September 2019 when he was charged.

Dr Tom Davis, EEAST interim chief executive, said: "We are horrified by the accounts shared and thank all those who gave evidence for their bravery, which has resulted in the right course of justice.

"We took action to report, suspend and ultimately dismiss this individual when allegations came to light, and are grateful to our police colleagues for their support in pursuing the concerns of our organisation and our staff."

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Related Topics

  • Peterborough
  • Warboys

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