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Off-duty policewoman foiled violent shoplifter who clubbed her with a piece of wood

PUBLISHED: 10:53 06 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:53 06 October 2015

PC Sarah Lewis-Perkins

PC Sarah Lewis-Perkins

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PC Sarah Lewis-Perkins will now be honoured at this year's Police Bravery Awards.

An off-duty policewoman who overpowered a violent shoplifter as he clubbed her with a piece of wood is to receive an award.

PC Sarah Lewis-Perkins not only fought off the attack but managed to wrestle the man to the ground and restrain him – despite having no protective equipment and no way of calling for backup.

She had been shopping with her son in a Gravesend DIY store on April 5 last year when she saw staff struggling with a violent shoplifter.

After leaving her son with a friend, she intervened – but when she said she was a policewoman, the man turned his aggression on her.

He picked up a metal bar to use as a weapon, then ran off, pursued by PC Lewis-Perkins. When she caught up with him, he picked up a bottle, broke it and tried to use it as a weapon, then picked up a large piece of wood and attacked her with it.

But she tackled her attacker and brought him to the ground – and store staff helped her to bring him under control.

The man was eventually sentenced for theft and affray - when the judge in the case said PC Lewis-Perkins should be commended. She will now be honoured at this year’s Police Bravery Awards.

Ian Pointon, the chairman of Kent Police Federation, said: “PC Lewis-Perkins demonstrated extreme professionalism, courage and tenacity and her dedication to duty is of the very highest standard.

“Her actions were in the finest traditions of Kent Police.”

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