Man admits assaulting firefighter after late night garden fire row

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A court heard how a late night garden rubbish fire ended up with a Mansfield man assaulting a firefighter.

Simon Cash of Mellors Road, Mansfield pleaded guilty to assaulting a fireman after crews tried to extinguish an incinerator fire in a back garden.

Mansfield magistrates heard that Cash, 22, had drunk four or five cans of Fosters when he confronted the officer and pushed him in the chest in the early hours of July 20.

The court was told firecrews returning from a false call at 12.35am had spotted smoke coming from the rear of the house on Mellors Road.

They spoke to the occupant, who took them through to his back garden where there was a metal incinerator with burning cardboard and cushions in it.

An officer told the occupant the fire should be put out because of the smoke, but he objected, saying he thought it was OK to burn rubbish after 6pm.

The firemen then started to unreel a hose from their engine outside to make sure the fire was put out.

Cash, who was also in the house at the time, then became aggressive, approached one of them and started shouting and swearing.

He put his hands on the firefighter’s chest and pushed him, causing him to fall to the floor.

The fire fighter called for support and the police arrived.

In his defence, Cash said he had been talking to a different fire officer and had offered to put out the fire with a bucket of water .

But he was told they had to do it properly and pushed the hose through the house. This had ‘pushed him over the edge’ and he had lost control.

He apologised and said the assault had been a ‘momentary lapse of control’.

The court heard he had previous cautions for assault including one on a police officer.

The court heard Mr Cash and his uncle had recently lost their grandmother and it was her wish to have her ashes scattered in the garden.

They had been tidying it up and had been burning the rubbish to leave it nice and tidy.

Cash was fined £200 ordered to pay £85 costs £50 compensation and a £150 court charge.

Commenting after the case, Area Manager Keith Jones, Head of Service Delivery for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “NFRS takes physical and verbal assaults on its employees very seriously, and has a range of risk controls in place to deal with this. This includes encouraging staff to report all instances of assault, and assuring them that the Service will support individuals in pursuing such incidents via the Police and the criminal courts where appropriate.

“The primary role of all our staff is to keep people safe from fire and other incidents and they have a duty to work with and advise people where they feel safety is being compromised.

“It is only right that they should be able to pursue their role and their responsibilities to the people of Nottinghamshire without facing violence and abuse, and we therefore welcome the outcome in this particular case.”