A police inspector has said that she is more determined than ever to “run towards the danger” despite being seriously injured after a thug attacked her in Norwich city centre.
Inspector Laura Symonds suffered a fractured eye socket and a broken nose after Shannon Lovelock unleashed a savage blow on the officer.
Last week, Lovelock was sent to prison for four years for the brutal attack.
As a result of her injuries, Inspector Symonds suffered permanent damage to her vision. Talking to the Eastern Daily Press, Insp Symonds said that the mental and physical scars had impacted her and her family.
Insp Symonds told the Eastern Daily Press:
“They’ve questioned whether the job is worth it. I’ve reassured them it’s my passion and that every day my instinct is to run towards the danger when others are running away.
“My colleagues do it and I want to lead by example and show them can still do it.”
Insp Symonds was on patrol with her colleague Sgt Graham White in the King Street area of Norwich when 35-year-old Lovelock attacked them.
Lovelock, of Barnards Yard, Norwich, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday (11th September) where he pleaded guilty to causing GBH with intent to Insp Symonds and causing ABH to Sgt White.
Lovelock also pleaded guilty to biting another police officer during his attack.
The prosecution told the court that officers had to speak to Lovelock after they noticed him “walking in the middle of the road with his trouser leg rolled up”.
When Insp Symonds and Sgt White spoke to Lovelock, he told them that he had ‘been robbed’ and that his girlfriend, who also had money stolen, was in his flat.
When officers asked Lovelock for his name, he gave them false details which raised their suspicions concerning what Lovelock was telling them. Lovelock walked away, but the two officers followed him.
When Sgt White took hold of Lovelock’s arm, he immediately swung around and punched the officer in the face, knocking him to the floor in the process.
As Insp Symonds tried to help her colleague, Lovelock turned around and punched her in the face, which caused her to fall over and hit her head on the pavement.
The two officers called for urgent assistance and, despite their injuries, both of them continued to keep hold of Lovelock. As other officers arrived on the scene, Lovelock attacked them also; biting one of them in the process.
Sentencing Lovelock to four years behind bars, Judge Anthony Bate said:
“This was a serious incident in Norwich city centre where three officers were assaulted at your hands in the course of their duties.”
Judge Bate added that the officers “rightly expect and are entitled to the protection of these courts”.
Lovelock was told if he had intended to do Insp Symonds grave harm when he struck her with the single blow then his sentence would’ve been much longer.
Judge Bate praised the resilience of the officers attacked by Lovelock and noted how the victims said they had been well supported by other officers at Norfolk Constabulary right up to and including Chief Constable Simon Bailey.
Insp Symonds added:
“It was so quick, just extremely quick. I pride myself on being able to communicate, but there was nothing with him – it was very sudden.
“I went back, hit my head on the pavement with a bit of force. I was properly dazzled. I think I got knocked out. I sat up and could see my colleague running after him.
“I got up and all I could feel was blood running everywhere. I called for emergency backup and got lots of my colleagues on route to help.”
Despite her ordeal, Insp Symonds said that she still wants to continue doing the job she loves.
She said: “My colleagues do it and I want to lead by example and show them can still do it.”