A lowlife thug who brutally battered a paramedic who had gone to help him before smashing up an ambulance has been jailed for two years. Henry Grain, 20, left emergency worker Steve Raven with a broken jaw after punching him in the face outside a bar in Leominster, Herefordshire.
He has now become the first person to be convicted as a result of body-worn camera footage worn by staff at Britain's second biggest ambulance service. A court heard paramedics were called to Shooters Bar on March 4 last year to reports of an unresponsive pub-goer inside.
But when medics tried to help Grain he responded violently - punching Steve in the face and proceeding to damage an ambulance window. He also broke one of the ambulance door hinges, taking the vehicle off the road for repairs, before police arrived at the scene.
Grain, of Leominster, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent and was jailed for two years at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday (January 31).
Steve said after the case: “We had been tasked to a report of an unresponsive man in a public house. After initial treatment, we took him out to the ambulance where he became aggressive, so we activated the ambulance CCTV system and our body worn cameras.
“I love my job, but this incident has had a profound impact on me. As well as the time for my bone to heal I have been left with facial numbness and hearing loss.
"It has also affected me psychologically – I get very nervous when I attend similar situations. Often we don’t feel that the law provides us with enough protection, but I was pleased that the judge in his summing up was quite strong in his disgust at what Grain did.
"He understood that this was an assault on someone who had gone there to help a patient and ended up off work for weeks, robbing the public of a paramedic at a time when it is incredibly challenged. When I started this job in 2015, the thought that I would need to wear a body worn camera for my protection would have seemed absurd, but I am so glad that both the vehicle and our staff have that option.
"I feel sure that being able to capture what happened made all the difference when it came to the prosecution and I would urge all my colleagues to use the system every time they go out, you just never know when you might need it.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said it was the first time body worn camera footage was provided to the police in the West Midlands region as part of an investigation into an assault on their staff. Nathan Hudson, WMAS emergency services operations delivery director, said: “I welcome this sentence as it shows how seriously the court took the violence against Steve.
“Ambulance staff are there to help people in their hour of need. We know that the vast majority of the public find violence against our staff to be abhorrent.
“The impact that violence against our staff has on their lives can be profound: we have seen cases where colleagues are left scared to be alone with a patient; some get flash backs and other mental health impacts.
“These often long term effects are on top of the recovery that is needed for their physical injuries that may stop them being able to work for days, weeks or months. Violence is not acceptable and we all need to work together to stop it happening.”
PC Harriet Wilson-Hill, of West Mercia Police, said afterwards: “The outcome of this case should serve as a reminder that assaulting an emergency service employee will not go unpunished. I welcome Grain’s sentence and I hope that it reassures our community of our how seriously we and the court take this type of crime and that they will hand down a custodial sentence representative of the severity of the offence.”