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Thug who attacked cop outside Medway Police Station in Gillingham is jailed

A Medway detective feared she was going to die after being left with a suspected fractured eye socket during a vicious attack outside a police station.

Samuel Tesefay launched an unprovoked assault on Det Con Louise Randall as he was being released on bail from Medway Police Station in Gillingham.

Samuel Tesefay. Picture: Kent Police
Samuel Tesefay. Picture: Kent Police

The policewoman, who works in child protection, told the judge: "We are told police officers are faced with confrontation and attack every day and at risk of being hurt on duty and that is part of our job.

"We choose to serve the public and it comes at a price sometimes.

"But the real question for me is now I have been hurt on duty, serving the public, is it really worth it?

"This man attacked me so brutally and in broad daylight with no reason or provocation. I believe he would have killed me.

"He was smashing away so hard on my head and face that had he, or had he been allowed to continue, I would no longer be here to read this out today."

The 28-year-old illegal immigrant, from Eritrea, had punched the officer to her face and head, before chasing her down the street, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Tesefay has now been jailed for two years after he admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Even though doctors had suspected the officer had suffered a hairline fracture, it was not deemed strong enough to support a more serious charge of grievous bodily harm.

DC Randall was present in court to see her attacker jailed, and to criticise the CPS decision.

The 44-year-old, who has served with Kent Police for 14 years, suffered swelling and bruising to her left eye, and now has a permanent twitch.

The psychological trauma even led her to question whether she wanted to continue with her career.

Reading her victim personal statement during the sentencing hearing, DC Randall said she believed Tesefay would have killed her if her colleagues had not arrived to help.

She added the decision to accept his guilty plea to the less serious charge reflected 'the system we have in place'.

"I was told by the consultant at the hospital that they would treat this injury as a hairline fracture of my eye socket, which is grievous bodily harm," the officer read.

"But as the evidence to the court cannot show this, he has now been charged with actual bodily harm.

"I do not feel this reflects the attack on me."

The attack happened outside Medway Police Station
The attack happened outside Medway Police Station

Tesefay will be released in just nine months, having already served six months behind bars on remand.

Prosecutor John Fitzgerald told the court Tesefay, from Crystal Palace, south London, was being escorted out of the police station on May 10 this year.

He was being investigated in relation to a sexual offence and became angry when told his laptop and phone would not be returned to him as they had been seized for analysis.

Without warning, he began to repeatedly punch DC Randall to her face and head, landing up to six blows.

She tried to flee to safety but Tesefay gave chase with what was described as a "look of pure evil" on his face.

He then kicked her and beat her twice to the back of her head, as she attempted to release a security lock into a private area of the station.

"He was smashing away so hard on my head and face that had he been allowed to continue, I would no longer be here to read this out today" - Louise Randall

His onslaught only came to an end when her shouts alerted colleagues and they gave chase.

Tesefay, who works with the elderly in their homes, fled across the road and was arrested as he tried to hide in nearby bushes.

The court heard the officer, who is married with a young daughter, had been trying to help obtain contact numbers for Tesefay from his phone when she was attacked.

"He had wanted his phone and laptop back and it was explained he couldn't have them," said Mr Fitzgerald.

"He asked again and again and it was explained again and again.

"It is perfectly plain for that reason he lost his temper completely and launched the attack on the officer."

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

It was captured on CCTV footage, described as harrowing, but DC Randall said she had not been able to bring herself to watch it.

Daniel Stevenson, defending, said Tesefay had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2016 but had not been taking his medication at the time.

He urged the court to impose a suspended sentence with 'severe' conditions which would enable him to receive medical treatment and supervision.

But Judge Adele Williams said the offence was so serious only immediate custody could be justified.

She told Tesefay: "You launched a sustained and repeated attack upon DC Randall. It was a most unpleasant attack.

"I have heard her read a victim personal statement which makes plain the extent of the trauma and distress she has suffered.

"She not only sustained the visible injuries but also the psychological damage as a result, which has caused her to question whether she can continue as a police officer, a job she plainly loves and finds rewarding.

"Both our members and the public have expressed anger at the sentence handed to this individual" - Neil Mennie

"A very considerable aggravating factor here is that this offence was committed on a police officer who was doing nothing more than her duty and, indeed, trying to help you."

Judge Williams also remarked at the end of the hearing that she hoped DC Randall would continue with her career.

Speaking after the case, Neil Mennie, chairman of Kent Police Federation, said: "Sentencing remains a matter for the courts but there is an expectation of the punishment fitting the crime.

"Quite rightly both our members and the public have expressed anger at the sentence handed to this individual.

"This was a vicious assault resulting in a serious physical injury and likely to result in significant physiological harm also.

"We continue to see assaults on our members that result in frustrating sentencing outcomes.

"Protecting the protectors remains a key campaign for the Police Federation and we need to continue the push to ensure justice for all emergency service workers.

"We wish DC Randall all the best for her recovery."

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