Brav­ery in face of all odds

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

S ERGEANT S a man­tha Bar­low has started her first day back as a Syd­ney po­lice of­fi­cer af­ter a bru­tal beat­ing two years ago that doc­tors said would end her ca­reer.

The mother of a three­year-old girl and two-yearold boy ap­peared tanned, fit and full of smiles yes­ter­day as she met se­nior com­man­ders at Syd­ney Po­lice Cen­tre.

The 36-year-old suf­fered a sav­age at­tack in the early hours of May 13, 2009, while on her way to work in Kings Cross, Syd­ney’s red light district.

Heroin ad­dict Rod­er­ick Holo­han bashed Sgt Bar­low twice in the face with a brick and then hit her twice in the back of the head while she was on the ground, be­fore drag­ging her into a nearby park and steal­ing $ 200.

Part of her skull was shat­tered and she also suf­fered a bro­ken nose, deep cuts and a crushed hand.

Holo­han pleaded guilty to the at­tack and was sen­tenced to a min­i­mum 11 and a half years in jail.

‘‘ With de­ter­mi­na­tion and te­nac­ity, Sam has proven all of us wrong and Sam is back at work,’’ Deputy Com­mis­sioner Dave Owens said yes­ter­day. ‘ ‘ She is com­ing back full of bounce, full of beans and full of an ab­so­lute zest for life.’’

Sgt Bar­low said she would work three days a week in the Surry Hills high­way pa­trol com­mand while she re­gained a num­ber of ac­cred­i­ta­tions in or­der to re­sume full op­er­a­tional du­ties.

‘‘ I’d like to think that I’ve worked damn hard and I have,’’ she told jour­nal­ists at the event.

‘‘ I’ve had re­hab for ev­ery­thing you could think of.’’

She de­scribed her first day back as ‘‘ huge’’, but said she never doubted her com­mit­ment to don­ning her uni­form again.

‘‘ I’m de­ter­mined to not let things go and I’ll see ev­ery­thing through to the end,’’ Sgt Bar­low said.

BACK ON DUTY: In­spec­tor Lau­rence Bar­low and his wife Sgt Sa­man­tha Bar­low

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