West Midlands Police have released some shocking body-worn camera footage of the moment when two West Midlands Ambulance Service paramedics were stabbed as they carried out a welfare check at an address.
Martyn Smith lunged at Mick Hipgrave and Deena Evans with two kitchen knives at the address in Stephens Close, Wolverhampton, on 6 July last year.
Mick was stabbed in the back as he ran for cover while ambulance colleague Deena suffered a punctured lung from a knife wound to her chest.
Knifeman Smith was tasered by a West Midlands Police officer who had been called to the scene to help gain entry.
52-year-old Smith hadn’t been seen for several days leading to a ‘concern for welfare’ call to be made to the emergency services.
Smith initially claimed that he thought the paramedics and police officers were burglars and that he had acted in self-defence.
However, the court heard how Mick and Deena knocked on doors and windows for several minutes and announced themselves as paramedics before calling for police support on getting no response.
Smith later changed his plea, admitting two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and at Wolverhampton Crown Court was today (9th July) jailed for nine years.
However, many people on social media – both inside and outside of the emergency services community – have remarked that the sentence of nine years is far too lenient.
Especially against a backdrop of a rise in assaults on emergency workers.
Deena spent three days in hospital following surgery, while Mick was discharged later on the day of the attack.
They have consented to West Midlands Police releasing the footage to highlight the dangers blue-light workers face and to push for stiffer sentences against anyone who attacks police, ambulance or fire service staff in the line of duty.
Reflecting on the incident, Deena said she thought she was going to die and praised the action of accompanying police officers who tasered Smith and gave her emergency first aid.
She said: “He ran at me with two kitchen knives about eight inches long.
“At first I thought I’d been punched but then felt my chest was wet and warm… and I saw the blood on my gloves. I couldn’t stop the bleeding and I collapsed in the garden.
“The female police officer put her hands on my chest to try and stem the bleeding. I just said to her ‘please don’t let me die’ and she replied ‘I’m not going to let you die’.
“I’m so grateful for everyone who helped me as otherwise I wouldn’t be here today.”
Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Jackie Nicholson, said:
“The whole incident lasted just 12 seconds – from the moment they entered the house to Smith being tasered – but the impact of such a shocking incident can stay with victims for a long time.
“Every day in their roles as paramedics Deena and Mick are helping people in need and saving lives. I’m glad our officers played a part in saving theirs.
“I wish them both well for the future and in their continued recovery, and hope the sentence handed down to Smith helps them achieve some closure.”
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