Paramedics relive horrifying moment knifeman stabs them on 999 callout

9 July 2021, 16:03 | Updated: 9 July 2021, 17:17

This is the terrifying moment just after the two paramedics were stabbed
This is the terrifying moment just after the two paramedics were stabbed. Picture: West Midlands Police
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

This was the horrifying moment a crazed knifeman stabbed two paramedics on a 999 call, leaving one with a wound just inches from her heart.

The shocking attack took place while Mick Hipgrave and Deena Evans were carrying out a welfare check in Stephens Close, Wolverhampton, on 6 July last year.

Terrifying footage shared by West Midlands Police shows 52-year-old Martyn Smith lunging at the pair of NHS workers with two large kitchen knives as they entered his home.

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Ms Evans, who was stabbed first, suffered a punctured lung and spent three days in hospital after surgery, while Mr Hipgrave was stabbed in the back but was discharged from hospital the same day.

Both paramedics spent months off work to recover both physically and mentally.

Warning: The video below contains distressing footage from the attack which the paramedics consented to being published.

The whole incident lasted roughly 12 seconds, from the moment they entered the house, to Smith being tasered by police.

On Friday, the attacker was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to the NHS workers.

They have both since said that they hope his sentence sends a strong message about the consequences of assaulting emergency service workers.

Speaking in an emotive victim impact statement, Ms Evans said she feared she would never see her family or three children again.

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Deena Evans suffered a punctured lung after the attack
Deena Evans suffered a punctured lung after the attack. Picture: West Midlands Ambulance Service

"Your sentence will not give me back the year I lost, neither will it take away my painful and ugly scar, or the mental stress you caused," she said.

"However, hopefully your sentence will be enough to act as a deterrent to others who think it is okay to attack other emergency services, when they have made a choice to simply do a job."

Trust chief executive Anthony Marsh said: "The events in Wolverhampton last summer were absolutely devastating. For two paramedics to be stabbed so horrifically whilst simply trying to help a patient is sickening.

"I want to commend the outstanding resilience of both Mick and Deena in their wishes to come back to work and continue to help their patients after everything they've been through. I admire their bravery in openly discussing the attack in order to raise awareness of the dangers paramedics and other front line emergency service workers face on a daily basis.

"Assaults on ambulance staff, whether it be physical or verbal, are not okay. I hope today's sentence acts as a deterrent and sends a strong message that attacks on emergency service workers will not be tolerated.

Mick Hipgrave was stabbed in the back during the assault
Mick Hipgrave was stabbed in the back during the assault. Picture: West Midlands Ambulance Service

"I want to also place my thanks on record to the crews who attended Mick and Deena and had the heart-breaking job of saving their lives. My gratitude also goes to the police officers at the scene. If it weren't for their quick interventions on the day, the result could have been even worse."

Emergency services operations delivery director Nathan Hudson added: "Our staff join the ambulance service because they want to make a difference and help people. For two paramedics to attend a job and come away with extremely serious injuries, both physically and mentally, is not okay. This is not part of the job.

"Over the last year, 1,162 physical attacks were recorded on WMAS staff. Over the last five years, physical attacks against our staff have risen by more than 60 per cent while verbal assaults have more than doubled. That's why we are rolling out body cameras for all frontline emergency crews. They will allow staff to record incidents where they feel at risk, with any recording being able to be given in evidence should an actual assault occur."

The trust has purchased a total of 1,288 cameras to be used by each frontline ambulance crew member thanks to almost a million pounds in funding from NHS England.