CPS launches appeal after Hatzola acquittal

By Jonathan Kalmus, November 7, 2013

The Crown Prosecution Service has begun appeal proceedings with the High Court to overturn the acquittal of the Hatzola ambulance drivers it claims were illegally using blue lights and sirens to attend medical emergencies.

If the appeal is allowed, it could lead to a ban on community ambulance services across the UK using lights and sirens.

Greater Manchester Police and the CPS lost their attempt last month to prosecute two drivers for Hatzola, the Jewish emergency medical service, after they attended a crash scene in north Manchester.

Police argued that their vehicles were not real ambulances.

District Judge Paul Richardson threw out the case in a hearing at Bury Magistrates’ Court, stated that Hatzola were justified in using lights and sirens under the law because their vehicles were used for “ambulance purposes”.

The CPS claims that the judge got the point of law wrong.

But Hatzola’s lawyer Gwyn Lewis said this week that: “It was a discretionary decision by the judge. The decision wasn’t on a point of law.”

Last updated: 10:45pm, November 7 2013