Bravery in face of all odds
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