A PARAMEDIC said he was "angry and disgusted" after he was allegedly spat at and threatened while working in Hereford city centre on Saturday night.

Mike Duggan, who is known as Taff, was sent to a job in Union Street at 10.45pm during a busy Saturday night but soon discovered he was not required.

As he sat in his ambulance car, which clearly shows he is a paramedic, a passer-by started to shout at him.

Mr Duggan, 32, said: "I was just about to drive off when some man, who had nothing to do with the incident in the first place, started shouting abuse and started spitting at me.

"It was for no apparent reason. He had nothing to do with the reason I was there."

Mr Duggan asked the man if he needed help but the man became angrier.

He said: "I got out of the car. He was punching the hell out of it. That is when he said he was going to knock me out and spat at me.

"He came towards me as if he was going to punch at me, shouting more abuse and constantly swearing at me."

The police arrested the man shortly afterwards and he has now been charged.

But this kind of abuse is nothing new for paramedics.

Figures for the West Mercia area show that from April to October this year there have been 30 physical assaults on paramedics and 54 verbal attacks.

For the financial year 2017/18 there were 72 physical assaults and 95 verbal assaults.

The married father-of-three said: "We get quite a lot of abuse. It is surprising. Both verbal and physical violence.

"It is just something we shouldn't have to face. I wasn't even there to treat him.

"We come into work to make sure we are here to help people."

On November 13 the Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill came into force which gives courts the power to impose longer sentences for attacks on emergency services staff.

The change means judges can double the maximum sentence for an assault on an emergency worker from six to 12 months in prison.

Robert Butler, 40, of Wheatcommon Lane, Ashford Carbonell, Ludlow, has been charged with assault by beating of an emergency worker, use of threatening/abusive/insulting words, and behaviour with intent to cause fear and to provoke unlawful violence.

He has been bailed and will appear at Hereford Magistrates Court next month.

Anyone with information is asked to call West Mercia Police on 101 quoting incident number 0827S of 17 November or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.