Posted on 4th Nov, 2010 by Jonathan Peach
A teenager who hurled lit fireworks at firefighters when they arrived to tackle a Bonfire Night blaze has been brought to justice. The 16-year-old boy started an attack which saw a large gang throw more rockets, bangers and flares at the officers’ fire engine, a court heard.
The fire crew, who were called to deal with an unauthorised fire in a Tameside park, were forced to take cover in the vehicle until police arrived. The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, threw a banger and then a rocket which exploded just yards from fire officer Leon Dally next to Millennium Park, in Hyde.
He then grabbed his crotch and ‘gesticulated’ at firefighters as a gang of about 30 youths surged towards their engine.
Mr Dally said he had experienced ‘nothing on this scale’, adding if a firework hit nearby houses, it would have been ‘catastrophic’. The youth denied one charge of throwing a firework in a public place, but was found guilty by Tameside magistrates after a trial. He will be sentenced in July. The attack came after a call out to a fire in the park, on Great Norbury Street, last year.
Mobile CCTV film of the incident – viewed in court – showed a flare was thrown under the vehicle, while rockets and bangers exploded near the engine. Police arrived and arrested the youth.
He admitted grabbing his crotch and ‘gesticulating’ but denied throwing fireworks.
Mr Dally said he was certain the boy in court was the one who threw the first two fireworks. But Karina Lyon, defending, said several wore similar clothes and Mr Dally could have been mistaken.