A PARAMEDIC has been suspended after stealing from an elderly woman in Emsworth he was sent to help.
Muriel Quinton needed help after suffering a fall at her home, which came when Carl Brzakalik attended and emergency call.
But the 52-year-old paramedic stole her late husband’s wallet, which had £100 inside, while he was in her house in Nore Farm Avenue.
It was later discovered empty by staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, where 89-year-old Mrs Quintin was taken and where she died 11 days later.
Brzakalik attended a Health Professions Council’s Conduct and Competence Committee in London and was suspended for 18 months. His case will be reviewed after six months.
Muriel’s niece, Karen Mazlum, said: “These events have been terribly upsetting for the whole family while we were trying to cope with such a distressing situation already.
“We would have never expected someone to steal from a woman in the final days of her life.”
The police were called in after staff at the hospital found the wallet where the paramedic had dumped it on July 24. When it was handed back to Mrs Quintin she reported the missing money.
Brzakalik, who did provide the pensioner with some treatment before he stole from her, was arrested on August 2.
The paramedic, of Kings Road, Hayling Island, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates Court.
District Judge Anne Arnold handed him a 14-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
He was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, pay £100 in compensation to the victim’s family and pay £85 in court costs.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Lee Parker, of Portsmouth CID, said: “This was a disgraceful betrayal of trust by someone in whom Mrs Quintin should have had complete confidence.”
A spokeswoman for the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which employed Brzakalik, said: “This is an isolated incident and occurrences like this are very rare.
“When incidents like this do occur they are dealt with effectively and handled with sensitivity and professionalism.”