Stamshaw Park police stabbing trial: Officer felt 'massive thud' as he struggled with suspected drug dealer

A POLICE officer has told jurors of the moment he was stabbed with a ‘massive thud’ in ‘debilitating’ blows leaving him struggling to breathe.

Monday, 19th August 2019, 5:01 pm
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 9:11 pm

PC Russell Turner, an officer with 14 years’ experience, told how he and his colleague PC Clare Parry were patrolling Stamshaw Park on February 20 in plainclothes when they approached a suspected drug dealer.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard a violent struggle ensued with PC Turner likening the blows he received to ‘Mike Tyson coming up to me and hitting me in the back’. He added: ‘It felt like a really hard... like a hammer not a knife.’

Londoner Michael Enzanga, 20, who the prosecution say was found hiding under tarpaulin in a nearby garden in Jervis Road after fleeing the park, denies being responsible for the stabbing.

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Police in the area after the stabbing Picture: Sarah Standing (210219-1638)

PC Turner said after being stabbed he was on the ground and heard a worker from Stamshaw Adventure Playground who said: ‘I’ve got a police officer whose been stabbed and he’s bleeding out.’

PC Turner, 56, had come to the park at 10.45am with his own dog so as not to attract attention while carrying out a patrol with PC Parry.

After dropping the dog off with his wife, who had driven down to the park, PC Turner and his colleague approached the suspected dealer and two others.

Speaking on a police-recorded video played to the jury, PC Turner said he had his warrant card out and handcuffs ready to calm a potentially ‘unpredictable’ situation.

A police officer was stabbed in the back at Stamshaw Park near Newcomen Road in Portsmouth, on Thursday, February 21 at 12.15pm. Picture: Sarah Standing (210219-1638)

PC Turner, who described two stab wounds to to his back that caused a collapsed lung, said: ‘I got my warrant card out, literally as I was saying “excuse me we’re police” - I didn’t get any further than that and he went to run.

‘I didn’t even see the other two who were with him after that, I wasn’t looking in that direction for the rest of the incident and I didn’t see them.

‘All my concentration was basically on him and I had hold of his jacket right underneath his chin.

‘And right from those first couple of seconds it was almost like he was just really, really desperate to get away.

The scene in Stamshaw Park after the stabbing Picture: Sarah Standing (210219-1688)

‘I’ve had people run from me before to try to get away, usually there’s some sort of verbal going on “what are you doing?” swear words.

PC Turner added: ‘Clare quickly grabbed one arm, which must have been his left arm. I grabbed his right arm, we both said a couple of times said “we’re police”.’

He told how the struggle ensued at 12.15pm, while he tried to use his ‘left foot to try and trip him over, which wasn’t happening’.

The officer said he put his arm around the man’s neck for ‘10 seconds’ but ended up being held in a headlock himself.

Picture: Sarah Standing (210219-9873)

PC Turner added: ‘I could feel that his mouth is going round my hand. I was saying to him “don’t bite me”. I said “don’t bite me” a couple of times.’

As the struggle went on he called to three members of staff at the adventure playground to pass him his handcuffs.

PC Turner, who had repeatedly shouted for his assailant to calm down, said: ‘They came over and I couldn’t remember whether they managed to get to me or not. I think that’s probably when I lost grip of him.

‘By that time he’d slipped his jacket over his head which made his T shirt ride up. I could see his ribs there, I gave him three punches which had no effect.

‘I just remember Clare saying “drop the knife” she said that a couple of times and my instant reaction to that was “what knife?” and when I looked down he was bent over. By this time I’m on his left side but still quite close and when I looked down I could see in his right hand he was holding a black-handled knife.’

He added: ‘And with that I just saw the knife literally come up, he moved his arm a very short distance, probably only a foot and I didn’t know what I was doing, whether I’d turned away whether I’d, I don’t know, adopted some defensive pose, I don’t know.

‘But the next thing I know is I could feel this sort of massive thud in my back just under my shoulder blade and the right side, again, I don’t really know what happened next, whether I turned around to try and fight him but then I felt the second one, and it was just immediately, it wasn’t paralysing, but it was certainly debilitating.’

Prosecutor Dale Sullivan said Enzanga fled, was Tasered but it was unsuccessful. When he was arrested the Taser barbs were still on the clothes on his back.

Clingfilm containing 60 wraps of either crack cocaine or heroin were found in the bag with Enzanga’s DNA, Mr Sullivan told jurors.

A discarded grey item of clothing also had Enzanga’s DNA, as did the officer’s clothes, Mr Sullivan said.

Police seized a phone from him and found ‘messages (that) are synonymous with someone who had been drug dealing, the content and language used,’ Mr Sullivan said. Enzanga also had nearly £1,000 on him.

Opening the case, Mr Sullivan said Enzanga had been assaulted by ‘unknown males’ in Stamshaw Park on February 20 - the day before the stabbing - but refused help from passers-by.

The prosecutor said Enzanga went off in the direction of the men who assaulted him, but left behind a mobile phone, which was not the one seized on February 21, with texts on it addressed to Michael and a small bundle wrapped in clingfilm containing 34 wraps of heroin or crack cocaine.

When arrested on February 21, the day of the incident, Enzanga gave a prepared statement saying he had been assaulted ‘that day’ by two men ‘shouting “give me the money, give me the drugs”,’ Mr Sullivan told jurors.

In his statement Enzanga denied ever having a weapon or drugs.

The defendant, 20, of Ashfield Road, Tottenham, north London, denies four charges of possessing crack cocaine and diamorphine with intent to supply the class A drugs - one of each relating to February 20 and 21.

Enzanga denies possessing criminal property - the money - on the second day.

He denies causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possessing a knife.