A man's been jailed for 16 years for stabbing a Hampshire Police officer twice in the back.
20 year old County Lines drug dealer Michael Enzanga, of no fixed address, is starting the prison sentence after he attacked PC Russell Turner in Portsmouth in February.
The officer suffered a collapsed lung, after Enzanga attacked him as he carried out patrols in Stamshaw Park.
Following a two-week trial, the jury took just 45 minutes to find Enzanga guilty of the attack, as well as possession of a bladed article, four counts of possession of Class A drugs with intent and possession of criminal property.
Today (Wednesday 9 October) he was sentenced to 16 years in prison, with an extended license period of 4 years for the attack.
The court heard that the defendant already had a number of previous convictions for possession of a knife and possessing class A drugs with intent to supply, dating back to 2014.
Addressing Enzanga in the dock, Judge Roger Hetherington said: “You were no innocent dupe. You were already an experienced criminal who knew exactly what you were about.”
Following the sentencing Russell Turner said:
“On the day this happened, PC Clare Parry and I went on patrol in Stamshaw Park with two objectives: firstly to find and safeguard who we thought was a vulnerable young man and secondly to protect the local community.
“Neither of us expected to get stabbed. Stamshaw Park should be a nice place to walk the dog, take the children to or just to go for a walk in, it shouldn't be a place where someone thinks that it is alright to deal drugs and carry a knife, and on that day in broad daylight during half term.
“Clare and I have been beat officers for a long time and have always listened to and tried to respond to what our communities are telling us.
“We are not unique in this and police officers do care and want to make the communities in which they work safer places for the public.
“That's what we were trying to do. That community has been fantastic in supporting us and assisting so brilliantly with the investigation, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
“I also want to say thank you for the support my family and I have had from colleagues and members of the public during what has been a very difficult time for us. It has helped immensely.
“I have now left Hampshire Constabulary, partly because of this incident, and want to pass on my best wishes to everyone and hope you all stay safe."
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector Matthew Barcraft-Barnes said:
“Enzanga’s brutal actions that day could have easily caused the death of our officer.
“As young children watched on, he didn’t think twice about using his knife, all he cared about was his escape, no matter what the consequences were for anyone else.
“It is never easy to have to deal with a case when one of our colleagues is seriously injured for simply doing their job but the team showed great professionalism and dedication to ensure this dangerous man was taken off of our streets.”
Superintendent Steve Burridge, District Commander for Portsmouth, added:
“This was a horrific attack on one of our officers who was working hard to try and make our community a safer place for everyone.
“He was out on a patrol that day following reports from residents about drug-dealing in the area, as tackling this problem is a priority for us in Portsmouth.
“The support we got from the community and the Ministry of Defence Police in the aftermath of this attack was overwhelming and we would like to thank everyone for this as it meant a lot during a very difficult time for our officers.
“So many people quickly got in touch with us with vital information regarding this incident that helped us to ensure this violent man was swiftly arrested and brought to justice so that he no longer poses a risk to others.
“It is this kind of support that helps us to continue our work at tackling drug-related harm in our area. You are our eyes and ears out there and the information you pass to us helps us build up a picture of what is really going on in your communities, and take action.
“Every day our officers are out there, serving our communities, never knowing what they will face and this attack just goes to show the dangers they can be confronted with and how lucky we are to have people who are willing to stand up for what is right.”