Controversial plea deal for accused paramedic attacker
A MAN charged with attacking a paramedic has been gifted a get of jail free card in a controversial plea deal offered by prosecutors.
Ishwar Seetloo is charged with punching and spitting on a paramedic who was treating him after he passed out at a wedding in May last year.
At the Heidelberg Magistrates' Court today prosecutors offered to drop the most serious charge meaning a six-month mandatory sentence would not apply.
But Mr Seetloo's lawyer, George Balot, said his client would continue to contest all three charges he is facing, relying on the rarely used criminal defence of sane automatism.
To rely on the defence Mr Seetloo will need to prove he was reacting to external factors such as alcohol, concussion or a spasm when he lashed out.
Mr Balot said reports had been prepared that supported the defence.
Mr Seetloo, 22, was drunk and unconscious when he allegedly lashed out, punched and badly injured the paramedic who came to his aid.
Wedding guest witnesses, who are now overseas, are still to be interviewed.
Mr Balot said it would be argued his clients actions were not voluntary.
"There have been two parts to the assault, the spit and the punch," Mr Balot told the Herald Sun.
"The spit is when he's unconscious on the floor, we say he's frothing at the mouth, police say he's spitting.
"Then they give him a sedative and that throws him into a whole new state. The sedative would have exacerbated his condition."
In the wake of the attack Mr Seetloo apologised to the paramedic.
"I wasn't conscious. I don't know what I was doing," Mr Seetloo said.
"I would like to apologise because I don't want this happening to anybody. I want to say sorry for it."
Six-month mandatory sentences were introduced in 2014 for thugs who attack emergency service workers.
The laws were toughened in September, closing a legislative loophole that allowed offenders to avoid jail time.
Mr Seetloo, who is on bail, will return to court in April.