Man sentenced to three years following firefighter hammer attack

Haman Rihan has been sentenced to three years in jail after attacking firefighters with a hammer, when they responded to calls of an unresponsive man in a locked car.

Crews from Salford White watch, got the emergency call on Monday, October 1, 2018 and upon arriving at the incident did all they could to get the attention of Haman. However, with no response and worrying for the 24 year olds safety, they decided to use specialist equipment to get into the vehicle.

Once access was gained it still took a few minutes to bring Haman round and once out of the car, the crew, who were still concerned for Haman's welfare began an assessment of his condition. 

At this point Haman realised firefighters had had to break a car window to gain entry and became aggressive towards them. After some initial racist abuse and threats, he threw and kicked the firefighters’ equipment that had been laid out near to the car.

When a hammer fell from the firefighters’ equipment the previously unresponsive man seized upon it. Concerned about the safety for his crew and the observing public, the Officer in Charge ordered a retreat to a safe distance. 

In the space of minutes Haman had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the fire engine by smashing windows and damaging the body. He also damaged live saving medical equipment which had been prepared by the firefighters for his safety.

With police en-route, there was little the crew could do but watch, as the man they had come to help and support, carried on his attack.

Once police arrived, Haman attempted to flee, but was prevented from doing so. With a continued threat of further violence, police officers were left with no option but to use a Taser to subdue and safely arrest Haman.

Appearing in Manchester Crown Court, Mr Rihan pleaded guilty to the attack, as well as other offences, and was handed a three year custodial sentence.

Speaking about the incident and the effort of the crews, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Dawn Docx said:

“Any attack, be it verbal or physical on our firefighters, is wholly unacceptable. This was a frightening experience for our firefighters who feared for their own safety, and that of the public. Thankfully on this occasion there was damage suffered to our equipment and fire engine only and no firefighters were harmed.

“We are appreciative of the swift actions of our colleagues from Greater Manchester Police who supported us to safely resolve this incident.”

Assistant Chief Constable Annette Anderson, said: “Members of the emergency services often put themselves in harm’s way to protect others.

“Being attacked when you are simply trying to do your job is something no-one should have to face but being targeted while you are coming to the rescue of others is nothing short of inexcusable.

“As we do in any case, we will robustly pursue those who use violence against those responding to 999 calls and will do everything in our power, with the newly welcomed legislation, to protect the protectors.”

19/12/2018 13:54 PM