South Central Ambulance Service says it will not tolerate abuse against its staff after a paramedic was subjected to anti-gay language by a drunk woman earlier this year.

The incident happened in February in Portsmouth when paramedic Joe Hunter, who works for the service, was called homophobic names while answering a call to help a drunk woman.

The 22-year-old told Portsmouth’s The News that the woman tried to punch him: “We were called to an unconscious female off New Road, Portsmouth, and found her to be under the influence of alcohol.

“She requested a lift home before becoming verbally abusive.

“She shouted abuse, asked if the ambulance service knew we were gay and made abusive comments about homosexuals.”

Mr Hunter added: “It’s the first time I’ve ever been abused like that – inside or outside of work.”

Police arrested and charged Deborah Filby, 43, of London Road, Portsmouth.

She appeared before Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, and pleaded guilty to one count of intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour.

The 43-year-old was sentenced to a six-month community order and was told to pay a victim surcharge of £60, and a £40 fine to the Crown Prosecution Service.