Sheffield axe attack verdict: PC Lisa Bates thanks public as she faces further surgery

Lisa Bates
Lisa Bates
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The police officer left seriously injured in an axe attack has thanked the Sheffield public for their support as it was revealed she faces further surgery.

The statement has been released after a jury cleared Nathan Sumner of attempting to murder PC Lisa Bates but found him guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent.

Nathan Sumner

Nathan Sumner

PC Bates said: "I would like to say thank you to the investigation team, my police colleagues and the public for their constant support and kind messages during what has been a very difficult time.

“I would also like to make special mention of the surgical assessment unit at Northern General Hospital, who provided such outstanding care.

"They went above and beyond in their duty to care for me and my family and it meant so much.”

PC Bates, aged 32 and who was based at Woodseats Police Station in Sheffield, is still recovering from her injuries and remains unable to return to work.

South Yorkshire Police said it remains hopeful she will, in time, make a full recovery but this will take some time due to the severity of her injuries.

Chief Inspector Lydia Lynskey, from Sheffield’s Local Policing Unit, said “I have remained in regular contact with Lisa and have monitored her recovery. Unfortunately, this journey has been quite bumpy and the end isn’t quite in sight as her leg is likely to need further surgery in the coming months.

“Despite the complications and setbacks, Lisa has remained positive and still manages to smile, which is testament to her. I know she has been overwhelmed by the level of support she has received, not only from her work colleagues and friends but also from the local community and public, for which she and I are truly grateful.”

PC Bates was left with a partially-severed finger and a fractured skull in the axe attack, having broken her leg jumping down a staircase in an attempt to escape Sumner.

Following this afternoon's verdict, DI Paul Wilson, who led the inquiry, added: “PC Bates was responding to a routine call when she was violently attacked by Sumner back in April - she and her colleague had attended to help a potentially vulnerable member of the public. The devastating injuries inflicted upon her could have been fatal.

“He showed absolutely no regard for the consequences of his violent actions, and it’s a stark reminder of the potential danger our officers face every single day and I wish PC Bates the very best in her continued recovery.

“Sumner not only violently attacked a police officer, but he went on to threaten staff at a local store, smashing bottles around and screaming at them; they undoubtedly must have thought they were in great danger and his behaviour would have caused serious distress.

"They, along with the member of public who so bravely helped the injured PC, showed great courage in the face of a very dangerous and upsetting situation and I commend them all for their actions."

Sumner will be sentenced at a later date.

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Nathan Sumner found not guilty of attempted murder of Sheffield PC