A MAN who attacked a fire engine with a hammer, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, has been jailed for three years.

Manchester Crown Court heard that fire crews from Salford were following up on an emergency call on October 1.

When they arrived at Jennings Avenue, off Trafford Road, they saw Haman Rihan, 24, in a locked vehicle but were initially unable to get any response from him.

Fearing for his safety, they decided to use specialist equipment to get into the vehicle.

While firefighters were attempting to gain access by smashing one of the vehicle's windows, Rihan became aggressive towards them hurling racist abuse and threats.

The court heard that he threw and kicked the firefighters’ equipment that had been laid out near the car.

When a hammer fell from the firefighters’ equipment, the previously unresponsive man seized upon it.

In the space of minutes, Rihan had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the fire engine by smashing windows and damaging the vehicle’s body.

He also damaged live-saving medical equipment which had been prepared by the firefighters for his safety.

Once police arrived, Rihan continued threat of further violence. Officers used a Taser to subdue and safely arrest him.

Rihan pleaded guilty to the attack, as well as other offences, and was given 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."