Halloween Sees Firework Attacks across City which Kill Birmingham Man | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Halloween Sees Firework Attacks across City which Kill Birmingham Man

A series of attacks in Birmingham committed with fireworks in the days around Halloween have seen students attacked in Selly Oak, as well as one man’s death after his house was destroyed by a commercial firework

A UoB graduate living in Selly Oak, Josh Fourstar, told Redbrick that he and a friend had a firecracker thrown at them while sitting in front of a house on Tiverton Road on 26th October. He described a car of four stopping and asking them for directions to Heeley Road, and ‘whilst we were answering, the guy in the back threw a firecracker firework at us.’ Fourstar called it ‘a big firework’ and told Redbrick that ‘my mate ran inside and I hid behind a bin’. The incident was reported to the police.

'The guy in the back threw a firecracker firework at us ... My mate ran inside and I hid behind a bin'

Second year student Benjy Poslad also spoke to Redbrick about being the victim of a recent firework attack. He claims he was targeted by two people, described as clearly drunk and probably students, who gestured at him before letting off a firework. ‘The next thing I know there’s a huge explosion of both sound and light and I’m nearly on the floor in pain’, Poslad told Redbrick.

‘Everything blurred after that but I remember much laughter from them,’ he continued. Poslad suffers from hyperacusis, a condition which causes intolerance to sounds and can range from making the sufferer feel uncomfortable to feel severe pain.

Meanwhile, in Tile Cross, a man died after his house was set alight by a ‘commercial sized’ firework on the night of November second. Anthony Nicholls, 56, suffered from smoke inhalation and serious burns. He was put into an induced coma but did not wake up, dying early in the morning of November seventh. A murder inquiry has been launched.

'The next thing I know there’s a huge explosion of both sound and light and I’m nearly on the floor in pain'

Nicholls’ partner, a 50 year old woman, survived the fire by jumping out of an upstairs window. She suffered multiple leg fractures and, as of 7th November, was still in hospital.

The large firework which started the blaze contained 200 shots of explosive and was put inside the house before being set alight. The fire spread throughout the house, quickly gutting it.

Detective Inspector Paul Joyce urged anyone that had sold or was missing such a firework to get in touch. He called the firework used ‘large’ and ‘heavy’, saying that it ‘would have been difficult to carry some distance’. He continued ‘I would ask anyone who saw someone carrying a large box in the area last Thursday night to contact us.’

There were also other incidents across the city. A teenager launched a firework at the Harvester restaurant in Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield on October 28th, forcing patrons to flee the smoking area as the firework exploded. On Halloween itself, a group was filmed shooting fireworks into traffic on Alcester Road in Moseley, in the south of the city.

Similar attacks using fireworks were seen around the same period last year in several cities across the UK. A police van was pelted with a volley of fireworks in Birmingham, and police were similarly attacked in London. In Northern Ireland, youths throwing fireworks attacked the fire service, preventing them from attending to emergencies.

(@john_wimperis)



Published

2nd December 2017 at 9:00 am



Images from

Elliott Brown



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