A TEENAGER who viciously attacked a trainee paramedic with a baseball bat has been jailed for eight years.
The medic, who had his skull fractured during the assault, was responding to a 999 call in Leyland.
Lewis Westwood, 19, of Hillbrook Road, Leyland, received the custodial sentence at Preston Crown Court Monday after earlier pleading guilty to one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of criminal damage.
Westwood hit the 26-year-old trainee over the head with a baseball bat on the evening of Sunday, October 13 last year.
An ambulance had responded to reports of a woman having a panic attack at an address on Hillbrook Road.
The trainee was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where he was treated for a fractured skull.
He is still suffering from problems to his hearing four months after the attack.
Westwood also caused damage to the window of a house during the incident, receiving a twenty-eight day prison sentence, to run concurrently.
Derek Cartwright is North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust director of operations.
He said: “The trust is delighted with this sentence and hopes it sends out a clear message that if you assault an ambulance crew, you face the real possibility of going to prison.
“I was absolutely appalled at this violent attack which resulted in a member of staff, requiring hospital treatment and being unable to do his job helping members of the community.
“Violence against ambulance crews will not be tolerated and we work closely with the police to ensure that the people responsible are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
“It is a sad fact that we are becoming almost used to hearing of our staff being either verbally or physically assaulted but this was one of the worst cases I have come across in my 30 years’ service.”
DC Andrew Woodward from Leyland CID said: “This was a very serious assault on a paramedic who was simply trying to do his job. “Public servants trying to help others should never be subjected to this type of behaviour – they should not be in fear of doing their job.
“The victim was helpless and was struck with the baseball bat without warning. It has deeply affected him as well as the other paramedic who was in attendance at the time of the attack.
“I hope that this sentencing acts as a stark reminder that this sort of behaviour is simply unacceptable.”