Family lawyer condemns 'self-serving, reckless' paramedics union


A lawyer acting on behalf of the family of a Sydney man who died on Sunday morning has condemned the paramedics union for making 'unfounded' claims.

A lawyer representing a grieving family says comments made by the ambulance union about their relative's death were "self-serving, reckless and unfounded". 

The Australian Paramedics Union claimed ambulance officers were confronted by a mob of "angry males" that prevented them from treating Hamze Ibrahim. 

Union secretary Steve Pearce also told reporters the 25-year-old had died of a suspected drug overdose. 

"Paramedics were forced to fend off angry males who eventually forced them to stop treating the patient who was in cardiac arrest and subsequently died," APA secretary Steve Pearce said.

APA secretary Steve Pearce
APA secretary Steve Pearce.
Facebook @apanswofficial

Sydney lawyer Raed Rahal said that was not the case. 

"He had booked to travel overseas with his family for the purposes of undertaking the gastric sleeve operation. Sadly, this travel was to occur today,” Mr Rahal said in a statement to Fairfax Media. 

“The pain family and friends are suffering at this time has been unjustifiably and unnecessarily amplified by the self-serving, reckless and unfounded comments made by [the APA].

“The inaccurate comments made on behalf of the association, which in essence, blames the family for the death of Mr Ibrahim, are totally devoid of compassion and empathy."

Mr Rahal also denied the family threatened emergency workers or charged at a female paramedic as the union claimed.

New South Wales Police also disputed some of the union's claims, saying the Public Order Riot Squad didn’t attend the scene as the union had said. 

Police say they were called to the Riverwood address and found the man, who was already dead. 

They say a group of people outside became agitated, but that there were no reports of injuries. 

Police estimated fewer than 20 officers attended, but Mr Pearce said there about 60.

The death isn’t being treated as suspicious, and a report is being prepared for the Coroner.

The ambulance union has called for faster intervention by police and said attacks on paramedics in the Bankstown area had become a regular occurrence.

Source AAP - SBS

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