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Ex-Saint Adam Hammill avoids jail for attack on paramedics
5:08pm Tuesday 20th November 2012 in News
A FORMER Saints player escaped jail today for a ''despicable'' drunken assault on two women paramedics.
Adam Hammill, 24, who is on loan to Huddersfield Town from Wolverhampton Wanderers, was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months at Liverpool Magistrates Court.
Hammill, 24, was arrested outside a bar in Liverpool during the early hours of October 7.
Paramedics were called after the former Liverpool FC youth player collapsed inside Moniques nightclub, on Mathew Street, and was carried outside by security staff where ambulance staff Sky Armstrong and Tracy Northey came to his assistance.
But when they attempted to put him in a wheelchair, he became aggressive, lashing out with his hands and spitting blood.
Hammill, who pleaded guilty to two counts of assault at an earlier hearing, also used foul language towards the women who called police to the scene, the court heard.
Lionel Cope, prosecuting, said Ms Northey was left with a bleeding nose after Hammill ''threw his arms out and struck her''.
Ms Armstrong was left ''shaken and angry'' by what happened.
The footballer, of Hall Road East, Bootle, Merseyside, had been celebrating a friend's birthday and had consumed up to 15 pints of lager and several shots of vodka or Amaretto, Mr Cope said.
In his police interviews Hammill was apologetic and said he had been assaulted inside the nightclub and when he came to, he did not know where he was and thought he was still being attacked.
In mitigation, Phil Moy, defending, told the court the defendant was ''distraught'' about his behaviour.
''The defendant has written to the North West Ambulance Service to express his deepest and sincerest apologies to the paramedics and their families,'' the solicitor said.
''He cannot remember the incident in any detail.
''The fact that the paramedics were female is something that was entirely lost on the defendant - at that time, he simply didn't know.
''He had been the victim of an assault.''
Mr Moy said Hammill had been fined two weeks wages by Huddersfield Town following an internal investigation.
The solicitor also said Hammill has not had an alcoholic drink since the assault took place.
Passing sentence, Deputy District Judge Brian Begley said he accepted that Hammill's behaviour was out of character.
But he added: ''The paramedics were simply going about their business and duty and do not expect to be assaulted, particularly in this despicable way - spitting.''
The judge said that only a prison sentence was appropriate to ''send out a message'' but suspended the term.
''You have shattered an image for many young people and that is something you will have to live with,'' he told the footballer.
Hammill, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and blue tie, was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, pay £350 compensation to both his victims and pay £80 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Hammill started his career at Liverpool's Youth Academy and played for both the youth and reserve teams during his time at Anfield.
He was part of LFC's 2006 FA Youth Cup winning side.
He signed for Wolves in January 2011 and was loaned to Huddersfield in August 2012.
In a statement released by Huddersfield Town, Hammill said: ''I would like to apologise to the people involved in this incident, as well as to the club and its supporters for letting them down.
''I'm thoroughly embarrassed by the whole affair and regret what happened.
''I would also like to thank the board and management at Huddersfield Town, as well as my family and friends, for their support during this time.
''I now want to repay that faith through my performances on the pitch and my conduct both on and off the field.''
Huddersfield Town's chief executive Nigel Clibbens said the club's board considered it ''a very serious matter''.
He added: ''We quickly took steps to impose a maximum fine and stand Adam down from playing in the immediate aftermath of his arrest because of his admitted misconduct, which led to the paramedics being called, but kept our options open for further action pending the inquiries of the police and the outcome of his trial.
''In advance of the completion of the judicial process, the board has been considering carefully how to respond.
''After long deliberations, the board have decided that we will allow Adam's loan to continue until its scheduled end date on 13 January 2013.
''That decision should not in any way detract from our condemnation of his behaviour and was not taken lightly.''
He added: ''From the outset Adam has not sought to excuse his actions or hide from them. Adam fully accepts the mistakes he has made and understands the damage he has done.
''He has demonstrated genuine remorse to us, his manager and our chairman. With the help of the club he has already started to take the first steps to ensure he learns the lessons.
''These are all important in starting to repair the damage and slowly rebuild a degree of trust again. If Adam had not responded in that way he would not have had even a short-term future at Huddersfield Town.
''It has been made very clear to Adam that he must grasp the opportunity given to him by us in the right way and do all he can to rebuild his reputation. It's now down to him to show what he is made of.''