Sussex

Paramedic struck off for lies about 30-stone dying man

Karl Harris
Image caption Harris was suspended from his job as a paramedic following the death of Mr Baker

A Sussex paramedic has been struck off after being jailed for 12 months for lying about why he did not try to resuscitate a 30-stone man.

Karl Harris failed to intervene after Barry Baker went into cardiac arrest shortly after he arrived at his home in Brighton on 29 November 2008.

Harris, 46, later told managers Mr Baker, 59, was already dead when he and trainee technician Ben Stokes arrived.

He was struck off by the Health Professions Council after a hearing.

Harris, of Tophill Close, Portslade, was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court in March of perverting the course of justice and told he must serve at least six months in prison.

During his trial jurors were told that Mr Baker had dialled 999 after experiencing breathing difficulties at his home in the early hours.

Image caption Barry Baker called 999 after experiencing breathing difficulties

Harris told the court he had arrived at the house but a large amount of clutter surrounding Mr Baker had prevented him and Mr Stokes from moving and resuscitating him.

The jury heard that Harris had told his colleague not to attempt resuscitation because he believed Mr Baker was already dead.

A post-mortem examination found that a combination of Mr Baker's 30-stone (190.5kg) weight, along with thrombosis of the legs, led to the cardiac arrest which killed him.

No charges were brought against Mr Stokes, but the South East Coast Ambulance Service placed him on restricted duties following the incident.

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