Drunk jailed for grabbing laughing gas

Scott Skilling demanded laughing gas. Picture: Vic Rodrick
Scott Skilling demanded laughing gas. Picture: Vic Rodrick
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Ambulance workers didn’t find it funny when a drunk man demanded laughing gas to ease the pain of his suspected broken rib.

They offered Scott Skilling paracetamol tablets and told him they would take him to hospital, but made it clear they could not give him the air and nitrous-oxide mix Entonox because he was too intoxicated.

Skilling, 25, stormed past them, opened the back doors of their ambulance and started inhaling the analgesic gas straight from the cylinder, a court heard.

And when the two ambulance workers struggled with him to prise the open valve out of his hands he unleashed a tirade of abuse at them.

Skilling, of Anne Street, Bathgate, pleaded guilty to obstructing or hindering paramedic Yvonne Collyer and ambulance technician David Finlay during the early evening incident outside his home on June 22.

He also admitted to acting in a threatening and abusive manner towards the two Scottish Ambulance Service workers.

Katrine Craig, prosecuting, said that when the ambulance crew arrived at his house in response to a call he told them he was “in agony”.

However, he refused painkillers and repeatedly demanded Entonox until finally going to the ambulance and opening the gas cylinder.

The ambulance crew called the police as they drove away from the scene and Skilling was arrested.

When charged he told officers: “I’m sorry. I was very intoxicated at the time.”

Neil Stewart, defending, said Skilling had fallen off his bike earlier that day, hurting his ribs and his ankle.

He said: “When he was offered paracetamol he accepts he flew off the handle because he wanted stronger medication.

“He has a terrible record of offences committed while he was in the grip of a heroine addiction and alcohol has essential taken the place of drugs. He expresses remorse.”

Sheriff Martin Edington yesterday jailed Skilling for nine-and-a-half months.

Passing sentence at Livingston Sheriff Court, he told the accused: “These are dreadful offences of the type which will simply not be tolerated.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that the court will send a very clear message in relation to this kind of offending by sending you to prison with a very lengthy sentence.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com