Defqon.1 medic company criticised over two fatal overdoses at the music festival accidentally hired a convicted paedophile
- Blake Ross, 26, served jail time for having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old
- He was convicted in September 2017 and was released at least six months later
- Ross was hired by EMS Event Medical in 2019 and worked at several events
- He took advantage of a loophole in the company’s working with children check
- EMS was criticised after deaths of two Defqon.1 patrons who overdosed in 2018
Bosses of the medical company criticised following the death of two festival-goers who overdosed at Defqon.1 hired a convicted paedophile.
Blake Ross, 26, was convicted of multiple counts of sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old and indecent assault of a person under 16.
The NSW District court jailed Ross for at least six months in September 2017 and served him with a two-year good behaviour bond.
Ross, an aspiring paramedic, was hired by EMS Event Medical in 2019 and worked several events after he took advantage of a loophole within the company’s working with children and police check automated system.
This follows criticism towards EMS after the deaths of Joseph Pham, 23, and Diana Nguyen, 21, who both overdosed on MDMA at Defqon.1 near Penrith, NSW in September 2018.
Blake Ross (pictured), 26, was convicted of multiple counts of sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old and indecent assault of a person under 16
Ross worked in a minor role at EMS but was prompted to an operations manager in December 2019.
Photographs on the EMS Facebook page show Ross working at a dance music festival at the Sydney Showgrounds in January.
He also helped at a coronavirus temperature checking station for greyhound racing events.
EMS Event Medical boss Mike Hammond said he did not know about Ross’ prior crimes and jail sentence when he was recruited.
‘Do you really think that I would’ve engaged this kid if I had known that? I’ve got kids, mate. We’ve done nothing wrong,’ Mr Hammond told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Mr Hammond revealed Ross submitted ‘blank pieces of paper’ into the automated children and police check system which is used by EMS and several other companies in the industry.
‘We’ve now uncovered a flaw in the system that we’ve all being paying for for many, many years,’ he said.
Ross, an aspiring paramedic, was hired by EMS Event Medical in 2019 and worked several events (pictured, the St Jeromes Laneway festival)
EMS Event Medical boss Mike Hammond (pictured) said he did not know about Ross’ prior crimes and jail sentence when he was recruited
Mr Hammond found out about Ross’ criminal past and sacked him last month, and said the loophole was fixed on the same day.
‘We’ve had a feature added into the system that now requires a manager to physically open it, view the document, and sign to say that they’re verified,’ he said.
This latest controversy comes after emergency services were called to the music festival in Penrith, at 9pm on Saturday, September 15, 2018 after Mr Pham and Ms Nguyen collapsed.
The pair were both taken to Nepean Hospital where they died a short time later.
About 700 revellers in the 30,000-strong crowd required medical attention at the event.
EMS was criticised for its treatment of the pair and an inquest into the drug related deaths at Defgon.1 in 2018 was launched.
There is no evidence to suggest Ross worked at Defqon.1 when the two festival-goers died.
This follows criticism towards EMS after the deaths of Joseph Pham (pictured, left), 23, and Diana Nguyen (right), 21, who both overdosed on MDMA at Defqon.1 in September 2018
There is no evidence to suggest Ross worked at Defqon.1 when the two festival-goers died (pictured, the festival in 2018)