A cruel paramedic who claimed he was trying be helpful when he called a female colleague a ‘fat porker’ has been suspended.
Paul Winfield humiliated his fellow ambulance worker about her weight and even gave her a pair of large men’s trousers after calling her a ‘fat a***’.
The paramedic said it was just ‘banter’ and he was simply trying to be ‘helpful’.
The disciplinary panel also heard how he asked if she was on a diet and told her: ‘Look at the state of you. You need to lose weight‘ in a two week onslaught of fat-shaming abuse.
He once reduced the emergency care technician to tears after repeatedly insulting her about her weight in front of East Midlands Ambulance Service colleagues.
But Mr Winfield, who had been a paramedic since 2002, claimed that his demeaning jibes should be protected by his right to free speech.
At a previous tribunal Mr Winfield avoided suspension and was ordered to attend equality and diversity training.
However a conduct and competence committee of the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service last week found he was ‘bullying’ the woman, and he has now been suspended from the professional register for a year.
East Midlands Ambulance Service paramedic Paul Winfield has been suspended for a year after repeatedly insulting a new colleague about her weight, calling her a ‘fat porker’ (stock photo)
The previous hearing in 2021 was told he was found to have made ‘inappropriate and offensive comments’ about the colleague’s weight and size, as well as the fit of her uniform trousers, over a period of two weeks.
In February 2019 he said she had a ‘fat a***’ and mocked her for having ‘jowls’ by saying she was ‘getting the family trait around the neck’.
The tribunal also heard he said she had ‘put on weight’ and was ‘starting to look like her grandmother’.
The following month, Mr Winfield said to his female colleague ‘Look at the f***ing state of you. You need to lose weight’ and said she was a ‘f***ing fat porker’.
It was around this time that he asked her if she was on a diet and touched her bottom ‘to make a point about the tightness of the trousers’.
Later that month, he suggested to his colleague that she needed bigger trousers, then tried to give her a pair of large men’s trousers.
The original tribunal heard he said: ‘I’m not sure if it’s your trousers that are too small or if it’s your fat arse?’
Mr Winfield said he was trying to help his colleague and claimed his comments should be allowed under his right to exercise his free speech (stock photo)
He claimed his remarks were ‘banter’ and accused NHS bosses of a ‘conspiracy’ against him.
Mr Winfield also told the original tribunal his demeaning insults were protected by his right to free speech.
The tribunal noted: ‘This was behaviour intended to humiliate… and [Mr Winfield] had, within only the last few days, defended this as his right to free speech, telling [his colleague] his opinion, and being ‘helpful’.’
But this argument was dismissed as he showed ‘no insight into the restrictions on free speech which are required in order to protect other people from harm’.
The original 2021 tribunal ruled his ‘inappropriate, offensive, and bullying behaviour’ amounted to a ‘serious departure from the standards of conduct that could properly be expected of a paramedic’.
It heard other ambulance service workers were left feeling ‘uncomfortable’ at seeing how upset the woman was.
The tribunal concluded: ‘[Mr Winfield’s] misconduct was serious, in that he had, in the course of his employment and over fourteen days, made offensive, inappropriate, and demeaning comments to a colleague (who was new to the station) about her weight, her family’s appearance, and the tight fit of her uniform trousers.’
However, the panel ruled at that point not to suspend Mr Winfield, stating: ‘Attitudinal difficulties giving rise to offensive and inappropriate behaviour and bullying of a colleague, as well as upsetting other colleagues, are difficult but not impossible to remedy.’
Instead, Mr Winfield was handed a 12-month conditions of practice order and told to attend courses on equality, diversity and professional boundaries.
But a second tribunal, held last week, heard that since then Mr Winfield has gone on long term sick leave and has been unable to work or fulfil this order.
In April 2022 his employment was terminated on grounds of ill-health, to take effect in June 2022.
The panel noted he had not provided a reflective piece to show insight into his actions. He said he was ‘struggling’ with this because ‘he finds it really difficult to write in an authentic manner about something which he does not believe happened’.
As a result, the latest tribunal ruled that he should be suspended from the professional register for a year.
‘It would still be possible for [Mr Winfield] to have shown insight by doing work online and taking courses to demonstrate that he understands why such bullying in the workplace was offensive and unacceptable even if he did not accept he was responsible for it,’ it concluded.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk