A woman has been fined £600 and ordered to pay over £800 in costs after falsely claiming to be a doctor to treat an injured cyclist, who had fallen two feet down a ditch after an e-bike crash.
47-year-old Joanne Graham, of Corwen, Wales, denied pretending to be a medical practitioner by “wilfully and falsely using the title of doctor” at her trial at Llandudno Magistrates Court yesterday, North Wales Live reports.
In June last year Martin Jones, while out cycling with his nephew, crashed his electric bike. Mr Jones, who has a prosthetic leg, fell into a v-shaped ditch following the crash. He suffered a fractured wrist in the fall as well as a cut to the head, but remained conscious.
As other passers-by tried to help the stricken cyclist, Graham stopped her car at the scene and claimed she was a doctor. She emerged with what appeared to be two large red bags of medical equipment, and proceeded to cut parts of Jones’ clothing and fitted him with an oxygen mask.
One witness, Detective Constable David Buckley – who was off duty at the time of the incident – told the court: “A blue Land Rover Freelander stopped. A lady in boots, jeans and a shirt got out and said ‘I’m a doctor’.”
Buckley said that he felt “relieved that another medical professional was now on scene.”
Another passer-by, Helen Counsell (a former District Nursing Sister and former Investigations Manager of Serious Incidents at Wrexham Maelor Hospital) said that Graham cut the clothing over Jones’ chest and abdomen, but that her examination was “cursory”.
Counsell also said that Graham asked for an air ambulance, which she thought was “not warranted” in this particular case.
Counsell later phoned Police Constable Bethan Williams, who was also at the scene, to raise her concerns. Williams carried out enquiries but couldn’t find Graham registered with the General Medical Council.
After being arrested, Graham denied that she called herself a ‘doctor’, insisting that she had introduced herself as a “trauma medic” from Mountain Rescue.
She told the court that she is an ‘incident commander’, including being a site medic, in a major accident and emergency response team for her employer.
She had previously obtained a qualification for casualty care in mountain rescue, which expired in 2019, and a life support qualification, which she currently holds.
Despite denying the charge, Magistrates chairman David Davies found Graham guilty of ‘pretending to be registered by taking the name or title of a medical practitioner’, with the prosecutor arguing that she was “living in a little bit of a fantasy world”.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.