In the run-up to Christmas 2019, Paramedic Ian Shortman was viciously attacked as he treated a patient. Like many people who serve in the emergency services, Ian had given up spending time with his family over the festive period to help save lives.
The outrageous assault occurred at around 17:00 hours on Saturday, 21st December 2019. As Ian knelt down to treat his patient, a violent thug – who was clearly devoid of any moral decency – ran up to Ian and attacked him.
After being struck on the head, Ian fell to the floor as his assailant continued his cowardly and vicious assault on the life-saving medic.
Having been alerted to the incident, local police response team officers rushed to the scene to help their colleague who by know was laying on the floor, barely conscious.
Officers established that as Ian was treating a patient who was unconscious at the time, he was kicked in the side of the head several times.
Ian was rushed to A&E, where he was assessed and treated by his NHS colleagues. Thankfully, he was not seriously injured despite being attacked by the coward.
Thomas Duffy (06/01/97) of Thorsby Close, Manchester, was arrested by officers and was taken into police custody for questioning.
Duffy was subsequently charged with assaulting an emergency worker. Earlier this week, Duffy plead guilty at Machester Magistrates’ Court.
He was sentenced to an 18-week custodial sentence. But Duffy won’t actually go to prison as his sentence was suspended for 12 months.
He was also told that he must complete 200 hours of unpaid community work.
The lack of a ‘real’ custody sentence will come as a shock to many people. Especially at a time when emergency services personnel are being told that violence directed at them will attract ‘tought penalties’ for the individuals who are responsible for such violence.
“I hope that the verdict today acts as a deterrent to others so that my colleagues don’t have to be subject to the same horrendous abuse.
“This was a very frightening experience, and although I was thankfully not seriously physically injured, this has had a profound effect on me personally and now causes me to be very wary of my surroundings.
“I hope that Mr. Duffy now takes time to reflect on his actions and understands the severity of what could have happened.”
Duffy has also been ordered to pay £500 in compensation, £128 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
Head of Service for Greater Manchester Dan Smith said:
“This was a violent and shocking assault and we thank our colleagues at Greater Manchester Police who responded to support Ian.
The abuse of any emergency services staff will never be tolerated, and I hope the suspended sentence issued today gives the assailant an opportunity to learn from this.
“Ian has been well supported by the trust, his colleagues and the City Centre community and we are thankful that he has had no serious or lasting injuries.”
The news comes after it was reported that another assailant was sentenced this week to ten months imprisonment after sexually assaulting a paramedic.
Dan continues: “Our staff work extremely hard to care for people when they are needed the most and they should absolutely be able to do so without fear of being attacked. We will always work to support our staff with prosecutions.”