25 September 2017 - Sentence Welcomed after Ambulance Crew Threatened with a Knife North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has welcomed the sentencing of a male from Blackburn after he threatened an ambulance crew with a knife. The incident took place in August after an ambulance crew was called to treat a patient with a head injury. On arrival at the scene, the male patient appeared to be intoxicated and was holding a knife which he then waved at the ambulance technician and student paramedic. Shaken up and frightened, the crew were helped by Police and taken to safety whilst the male was arrested. Nicholas Sutcliffe, Advanced Paramedic for NWAS, said: “Although thankfully our staff were not physically injured during this incident, it was a horrific experience for them which is bound to have a lasting effect. “The trust takes incidents such as this extremely seriously and has supported the colleagues by offering counselling services and helping them through the legal process. We are pleased with the outcome and feel this man has now been brought to justice.” Mohammed Laheri pleaded guilty to being in possession of a blade and was sentenced on 18 September to 21 weeks imprisonment at a hearing at Preston Crown Court. Nicholas continued: “Unfortunately, despite the fact that our staff work hard day in, day out to help others, it is becoming all too frequent that they are the subject of abuse. “We actively encourage staff to report such incidents to the Police but must stress to the public that we are only human and that incidents like this really can take their toll.” In 2016, NWAS recorded 413 incidents of physical abuse towards staff, 104 of which took place in Lancashire, a number that has risen by 24% compared to the previous year.