Like many others before her Sergeant Samantha Barlow has been robbed of her career resulting from a serious trauma. She was the victim of an horrific assault on her way to work – the impact of which nearly always leaves deep psychological scars. This is something that needs to be recognised more widely.
We wish Samantha all the best.
SERGEANT Samantha Barlow had hoped to serve in the NSW police force until she was 60, and her superiors saw a brilliant young officer who could rise all the way to become commissioner.
But in an emotional farewell on Thursday, the 37-year-old, who survived a vicious bashing by a drug addict in 2009, admitted she was no longer able to give the “110 per cent” the job demanded.
“It’s a very sad day. I honestly didn’t think I would be retiring for decades yet, and I hoped to retire from the police when I was 60, not to retire at 37,” she said.
“It’s the best job in the world, and I’m very sad that I’m not in it now.”
NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the vicious attack had robbed Sergeant Barlow of her future and had robbed the force of a potential leader.
“It’s very sad to say goodbye to an officer who has given so much,” he said.
“She had a brilliant career and was, potentially, a police commissioner of the future had she not been robbed of her wonderful future in this organisation.”
Sgt Barlow was bashed and robbed by heroin addict Roderick Holohan as she was walking to work early one morning. The savage attack shattered part of her skull, and she required 22 months of extensive rehabilitation.
She had no regrets about returning to work after the attack but admitted it had been a demanding task.
“I worked very, very hard to get as much of my body back as I could, and I did do a good job,” she said.
“But if you can’t do 110 per cent, then you shouldn’t be there.”
She will now become a full-time mother to her children, Lily, 5, and Ben, 4.
Her husband Laurence, a police inspector, said the psychological trauma of his wife’s attack was a factor in her decision to retire.
“This isn’t something that’s come very easily for her. In fact it’s something that she’s fought to avoid. It’s very bittersweet,” he said.