A fake paramedic who conned his elderly victims has been sent back to prison.
Joshua Martyn, 21, of Somerhill Avenue, Hove, was released on licence as recently as September.
But his behaviour caused enough concern that he was recalled to prison earlier this month before arrested and put back behind bars for six months.
Martyn was convicted of fraud and theft after convincing vulnerable people that he was a registered paramedic with medical training and qualifications when he has no training at all.
He was jailed for 18 months at Lewes Crown Court on Monday 11 August four years after he first came to the attention of the police.
He was found to be pretending to be a paramedic in 2010 although impersonating a paramedic is not an offence in itself.
He moved in with her and convinced her he was medically trained despite having no qualifications.
Martyn has never completed anything more than a basic first aid course, Sussex Police said.
But he managed to buy a large quantity of medical equipment and a fully marked paramedic first response vehicle.
He was originally charged with various offences, mainly associated with theft, fraud and witness intimidation, and he was bailed with conditions.
While on bail he committed more offences including assault and fraud.
On Friday 1 March 1 Martyn appeared at Lewes Crown Court charged with three counts of battery in relation to the 71-year-old woman.
He was also charged with using a vehicle which was untaxed and driving while uninsured and two counts of driving with no licence.
Martyn was convicted of all these offences which were committed while he was on bail. He was given a six-month hospital order and banned from driving for six months.
Just two months later, in May 2012, police were informed again that he was staying with a couple in their eighties in West Hoathly.
Their concerned family reported his actions as they weren’t convinced that he was a registered paramedic as he had told them.
Martyn was charged with three counts of assault, forging a vehicle licence, 10 counts of fraud and theft from the vulnerable couple.
On Wednesday 13 March 2013 Martyn appeared at Lewes Crown Court charged with witness intimidation, fraud and assault regarding a vulnerable and terminally ill 80-year-old man from West Hoathly.
He was found not guilty of witness intimidation but convicted of the fraud and battery and sentenced to five months at a young offender institution.
A restraining order was obtained to prevent him contacting the 71-year-old woman in Crawley.
On Tuesday 27 May this year Martyn appeared at Hove Crown Court charged with fraud and theft. He pleaded guilty to the charges laid against him and on Monday 11 August he was sentenced.
PC Jacqui Thornton, who led the investigation, said: “Joshua Martyn adopted personas that put him in contact with vulnerable people and in a position of trust.
“He was well known in the community and fooled people into thinking he was qualified to administer medical care.
“He dressed as a paramedic, drove a marked ambulance response vehicle and carried medical equipment.
“It is not currently an offence to impersonate a regulated health or care professional, therefore it was difficult to deal with Martyn’s activities and behaviour.
“It took me three years of investigation to obtain the evidence required to put Martyn before the court for various offences linked to his activities.
“I travelled across the south of England and obtained more than 40 statements and over 200 exhibits.
“A lot of time was dedicated to the investigation and this included working with other agencies such as the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) and the British Ambulance Association.
“We received a great deal of support from the community which assisted us in the investigation and more importantly in offering support to the vulnerable people he targeted.
“Martyn was held on remand while all the complicated aspects of this case were dealt with and was finally sentenced in August this year.
“This is not the first case of its kind and I am now working with SECAMB to raise awareness and amend current legislation to protect those who are vulnerable and those who need medical care.
“All paramedics have to be registered with the professional regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council.
“It is important that the community feel empowered to raise concerns and report any behaviour they are not happy with. If you need to discuss your concerns ring 101 and speak to us.”
David Davis, a SECAMB paramedic, is now working with PC Thornton to try to amend the law to make it an offence to impersonate a regulated health or care professional.
He said: “It is a credit to Sussex Police and the officers concerned that they were able to secure a conviction in this case as the circumstances were very complicated.
“This case specifically highlights a current inadequacy in the law in that it is not currently an offence to impersonate a paramedic, or for that matter a nurse, doctor, physiotherapist or a social worker.”
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