A man has been handed an 18-month community order and told to pay £50 compensation after throwing a concrete slab through an East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) vehicle window, causing £3,500 worth of damage and forcing it off the road for six days.
Josh Thacker, 24, appeared before Leicester Magistrates today, Thursday, February 2, where he pleaded guilty to three separate incidents relating to criminal damage.
The incident took place on Wednesday January 18 when an ambulance was parked outside a patient’s property in Highfield and the crew were inside treating the patient.
Thacker threw a concrete slab through the front window of the ambulance and damaged the wing mirror. The vandalism was captured by the crew who heard shouting and were able to capture what happened on their mobile phone from the patient’s property window.
The damage cost £3,500 to repair and took a lifesaving vehicle off the road for six days as mechanics and colleagues in our fleet team, who are essential in keeping our award winning vehicles on the road, worked hard to fix and clean it so it could be back out responding to patients.
"I once again find myself saddened and appalled by the mindless actions of an individual," said Mark Gregory, General Manager for Leicestershire. "Our staff work hard every day to deliver the best possible care to the public we serve. Actions like this make their job even harder, not to mention the anxiety they and the patient must have experienced during this attack. The money spent on these repairs could have been spent on extra crews and or lifesaving equipment, however due to the actions of one individual we will now be prevented from that. I again urge our public to treat all NHS staff with respect, abuse of our staff will not be tolerated and we will pursue the maximum penalty where this is breached.”
Sadly the incident isn’t isolated, with EMAS seeing an increase in the number of incidents reported of both criminal damage and assaults against staff in recent months.
Sean Keown, Local Security Management Specialist at EMAS, said: “We will continue to work with our colleagues in the police to ensure action is taken against anyone who behaves in this way. It is not acceptable and we take a zero tolerance approach.”