A senior paramedic for the east England Ambulance Service in Essex who called premium chat lines on his work mobile and downloaded hardcore gay pornography while on duty has been handed a three-year caution order by the Health Professions Council.

The panel was told that Paul Leverett, a senior duty manager who has worked for the ambulance service since 1983, would leave his workplace in Chelmsford, Essex, for long periods of time during his shift, at one point even leaving untrained staff to deal with an emergency call involving a person stuck underneath a train. When the staff tried to contact Mr Leverett, they were unable to get through to him. The hearing was also told that Leverett regularly used his work mobile to call premium-rate gay chatlines and had downloaded hardcore gay pornography on to the his work computer’s hard drive.

In September 2008 the onsite IT manager was asked to look at Mr Leverett’s hard drive following allegations that he had been viewing and downloading inappropriate material. Mr Leverett then resigned from his job before the allegations could be put to him.

Mr Leverett admitted looking at pornographic and obscene material on a work computer and mobile during work hours and using the mobile for non-business calls. He also admitted he was absent on two occasions without permission. He apologised to the panel, stating that his home life was now so much better than it had been at the time of the incidents.

Dr Alexander Yule, chiarman of the HPC panel said, “The panel is satisfied the registrant demonstrated insight and remorse into his actions and took into account the registrant’s health issues at the time of the allegations.”

While Mr Leverett admitted misconduct, he denied he was unfit to practise.