He had a good sense of humour but could be serious and sometimes moody when he wanted to be. Married to his wife, Beryl, for over 16 years, Ponting gradually became close to his paramedic partner Sandra Mute, and eventually they started an affair.
Time with the Ambulance Service (1986-87)
In October 1986, Ponting and Charlie headed a lively meeting and the team planned to hold a demonstration outside a cinema which was showing ‘naughty nurse’ films. (CAS: "High Noon") Two weeks later, Ponting became annoyed that paramedics weren’t treated like other staff members, when he discovered they weren’t invited to Ewart’s staff meeting. (CAS: "Crazies")
By early November, Ponting and Mute had spent the night together but she had to remind him that he was married. (CAS: "Moonlight Becomes You...") On a wet November night, he attended a call out to woman who had been attacked on her way to work, it turned out to be Duffy. (CAS: "Drunk") Ponting was shocked and angry. A week later, Ponting received bad news when his wife rang him up and said she was leaving him, after finding a note from Mute in his lunch box. Also Mute had dumped Ponting, choosing to go on holiday to Wales with a jockey. (CAS: "Quiet") Ponting and Mute finally had a heated discussion but she denied writing the note and said she felt guilty dating a married man. (CAS: "No Future")
By early September 1987, the night shift had been closed for six months. When a motorcyclist died as he had to be taken to Queen's, Ponting believes his life could had been saved if Holby A&E had been open. Ponting attempted to get his journalist cousin to write an article and also talked to the dead motorcyclist’s father – but he was too angry to help. The staff later find out their lobbying had worked and they gain back their night shift. (CAS: "A Little Lobbying")
On the 3rd October, Ponting celebrated his birthday. He told Mute that he loved her, but she said she couldn't break up his marriage. During their shift, they picked up a suicidal medical student called Miles, who had threatened to jump from the top of a building. As he was being driven to Holby City Hospital, a drunk man already in the ambulance stabbed Mute in the stomach, flung open the rear door and escaped. In Mute’s panic, she pulled out the knife. Ponting got Miles to drive the ambulance to Holby A&E as he cradled Mute. The team battled to save her but she died. Ponting was devastated. (CAS: "Cry for Help") A week later he told Charlie he was unable to continue being a paramedic, and said he was applying for another job. On the 17th October 1987, Ponting worked his final shift. Pointing found his colleagues have a surprise party waiting for him in the staff room and gave him a tankard as a leaving present. (CAS: "Anaconda")
Behind the scenes
Robert Pugh played Andrew Ponting on Casualty from 1986 until 1987.