A WEST Yorkshire ambulance medic accused of sexually assaulting a drunk woman he was treating has told a court he touched her by accident while trying to “protect her modesty”.
Former soldier Dale Kirby, 34, denied touching the woman’s vagina twice for his own sexual gratification while she was being taken to hospital in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
Kirby told Leeds Crown Court that he was trying to cover the 18-year-old up after she became exposed in the ambulance but lost his balance and accidentally touched her.
The woman has told the jury that the medical technician digitally penetrated her vagina twice while she was on a stretcher in the ambulance after a night out in Huddersfield in November 2014.
Kirby and a colleague were called to reports of the woman suffering from fits outside a takeaway and took her and her friend to hospital in the ambulance, the court heard.
Giving evidence, the defendant said he and his colleague concluded the woman was suffering from anxiousness, the cold and intoxication and said her state in the ambulance varied from being passive to communicating and moving around.
He told the jury that the woman said she needed to urinate and began pulling up her dress and removing her underwear.
He said he was attempting to replace her clothing when a combination of the movement of the ambulance and the movement of the woman led to him grabbing the top of her leg and making contact “between her legs”.
Married father Kirby said: “I was simply trying to adjust her clothing to protect her modesty while she was in a state of intoxication.”
Michael Collins, defending, asked: “Did you play with her vagina?”
The defendant replied: “No way. I’m not that type of person. Absolutely not.”
Kirby told the jury he apologised after touching the woman and said he did not regard the incident as being significant.
He said: “I did not want to touch her between her legs. That was not my intention in any way.”
In cross-examination, Gerald Hendron, prosecuting, said Kirby told police his fingers “may possibly” have penetrated the woman’s vagina as he was steadying himself.
The barrister asked Kirby why he did not report the incident to his colleague or his employers.
He said: “The reason you did not report it... I suggest to you is that you knew full well you had twice digitally penetrated (the woman) for your own sexual gratification.”
Kirby replied: “That’s absolutely not true.”
He added: “I haven’t done anything wrong. It was a moment when different things came together and I grabbed her leg and touched her vagina and I apologised.”
The court heard that Kirby served for five years in the Army and was deployed to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.
He joined the ambulance service around 10 years ago and said there had been no issues regarding discipline or complaints about his conduct during that time.
Kirby said: “It’s not just a job, it’s a vocation. All I’ve done since leaving school is defending our country or looking after the people in it and I’m quite proud of that.”
Kirby denies two counts of sexual assault by penetration.
The trial continues.