A man who attacked an ambulance crew in Blackpool has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Steven Anthony Houghton, 30, appeared at Preston Crown Court charged with affray, criminal damage and assault against an emergency worker.
In November last year, an ambulance had been called to an address in Blackpool Town Centre reporting a man to be unwell.
Whilst in the back of the ambulance, Houghton became abusive and threatening to the crew. He then punched one of them, a student paramedic, in the neck.
After leaving the vehicle, Houghton then chased one of the crew members down the street, threatening to stab them.
The ambulance crew were forced to lock themselves inside the vehicle and as they were waiting for the police, Houghton vandalised the outside of the ambulance, cracking the windscreen, smashing the wing mirror and pulling off the number plate, all whilst continuing to threaten the crew inside.
Speaking after the sentence was announced, one of the NWAS crew, Emergency Medical Technician, Tom said:
“I was very reassured when I heard about the sentence. It was a horrible experience, but like a lot of elements of the job I have put it to the back of my mind.
“I have had a few experiences of violence like this at work, but it’s the first time that it has affected me at home too. I had ten days off work, but it stays with you.
“We were called to a domestic violence incident shortly after I got back. As soon as I heard shouting coming from inside I just thought ‘I want to go home!’
“But of course you don’t. You do a risk assessment and you carry on.”
Tony Carter, who is head of Health and Safety at North West Ambulance Service said:
“It is absolutely unacceptable that any of our staff should suffer abuse, threats or violence when they are doing their jobs.
“They are working under unbelievable pressure and it is very upsetting to hear of a situation like this. They genuinely feared for their safety”
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