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Surgeons battle to save the sight of injured officer

A female police officer has undergone emergency eye surgery in a bid to save her sight after the |nmarked car in which she was was travelling was attacked by a group of youths in Newtownabbey earlier this week.

The 27-year-old probationary policewoman was attending a follow-up call with two other officers when their vehicle was hit by a large stone in the Diamond area of the Rathcoole estate just after 8.30pm on Wednesday.

The stone smashed through the front passenger window hitting the young constable, who has less than two months operational service, in the face.

Following the incident the officer, who is part of a community policing team, was rushed to hospital for treatment.

Broken glass from the car window penetrated the officer’s eye prompting concerns she could lose her sight. The attack also caused a laceration to her cheek.

As a result, doctors had to perform emergency surgery yesterday in a bid to save her sight.

Last night it was still unclear how successful the operation was.

Newtownabbey Chief Inspector Paula Hilman told the Belfast Telegraph the recently qualified recruit was continuing to receive medical treatment.

But she also revealed there were still concerns the damage could have caused blindness.

“I was with the officer and her mother on Wednesday night,” she said. “She was remarkably calm given the seriousness of her injuries.

“We are now awaiting the results. I know they (her family) have been talking to the doctors and the specialists in the hospital and we will be liaising closely with her family to find out the outcome of the operation.”

She also added the incident has not deterred the young officer from fulfiling her dream to be a policewoman.

She said: “She wants to out there. The message I got was that she doesn’t want a desk job. She joined the police to serve the community and that’s what she wants.”

Police have not identified the individual responsible for the attack and have appealed to the local community for help.

Chief Insp Hilman said: “Some of you know who did this, do the right thing and tell us who threw that stone. Also to the parents, as a parent myself we have a responsibility to know where our children and young people are. I ask parents to ask young people where they are and what they are doing.”

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