THE actions of a man jailed for assaulting two emergency workers have been condemned by police, a health workers’ union and the Barrow MP.

Darren McCullough, 42, from Cote Ley Crescent, Walney, was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail after he pleaded guilty to assaulting Sharon Baker and Shane Charnley at Furness General Hospital on December 12, 2018.

South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court heard McCullough, who had previously denied the offences, was under the influence of drugs.

A Cumbria police spokesman said: “Emergency services personnel should be free to go about their work without the fear of being assaulted.

"In this particular incident the person being assaulted was someone attempting to help the defendant.

“Hopefully this sentence will send out a message to people there will be consequences, including custodial sentences such as this, if people attack those who work each day to help people.”

In 2018, tougher sentences were brought in for people who assault emergency services workers.

The Assaults on Emergency Workers Act saw maximum jail terms increased from six to 12 months.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: “I have spent time on the night shift alongside our emergency services staff and that has given me an insight into what they can sometimes be exposed to on the front line.

“Those who are violent towards emergency workers must be punished and last September I gave my support to Cumbrian Judge Peter Davies’ call for the doubling of the maximum prison term for people being convicted of an assault in these circumstances.”

A Unison spokesman said: “Unison fully supports the introduction of the Assaults on Emergency Workers Act 2018.

“We are saddened that our members continue to face attacks on them whilst carrying out an invaluable role caring for people at their most vulnerable times.

“We welcome the fact that these situations are now being taken seriously and that appropriate action is taken against those who carry out these acts.

“Unison believes that all of our members within the health profession are dedicated and work tirelessly to provide excellent care to those that need it and should never be put in a position where they feel fearful of their own safety whilst doing so.”

In addition to the 12 week prison sentence, McCullough was ordered to pay £350 in compensation to the two victims, £300 court costs and a £115 surcharge.

The court heard the offences were committed while he was subject to a community sentence.