Drug dealer who stabbed plain clothes policeman given 16-year prison term

A county lines drug dealer who stabbed a plain clothes police officer in a playground has been jailed for 16 years.

Michael Enzanga was likened to a “caged animal fighting for his life” as he repeatedly knifed Hampshire Police constable Russell Turner, 56, on February 21 at Stamshaw Park in Portsmouth.

He appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court today for sentencing after being convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a knife in August.

Enzanga, appearing in the dock dressed in a grey jumper, was also sentenced for four charges of possessing crack cocaine and diamorphine (heroin) with intent to supply and a charge of possessing criminal property.

The 20-year-old, of Ashfield Road in Tottenham, north London, was sentenced to 16 years in jail, plus an additional four years on licence by Judge Roger Hetherington.

Prosecutor Dale Sullivan said the case was made more serious because the stabbing took place near to a nursery, and because it was against a police officer.

The trial in August heard that Pc Turner and Pc Claire Parry had approached Enzanga, then aged 19, near an adventure playground in the Portsmouth.

Pc Turner had his warrant card out and identified his colleague and himself as police officers when Enzanga tried to run away and a struggle broke out.

Pc Parry said the defendant was like a “caged animal fighting for his life” when he attacked Pc Turner.

Michael Enzanga court case
A carrier bag containing 60 wraps of crack cocaine or heroin left by drug dealer Michael Enzanga (Hampshire Police/PA)

In an emotional statement, Pc Turner told the court on Wednesday: “(I feel) angry because he stabbed me, leaving my lying in my own blood.

“Most of all I can never forgive him for the upset, pain and emotional trauma he caused my family.

“On the day I was stabbed my wife was at home and my sergeant knocked on the door and told her what happened.

“During that half hour car journey her mind was thinking all sorts, wondering if I was going to live.”

Michael Enzanga court case
Drug dealer Michael Enzanga (Hampshire Police/PA)

Pc Turner, a father-of-two, was not able to return to work for 10 weeks and has now left Hampshire Constabulary.

Pc Parry, who was with Pc Turner when he was stabbed in the playground, said in a statement: “A few weeks after the incident I was again dealing with a male with a knife and despite him throwing it out of harm’s way I could not shake the fear of being stabbed.”

Andrew Frymann, defending Enzanga, said: “This case features what is becoming an endemic problem, namely county lines drug dealing, by which I mean the endemic problem of central London drug dealers sending out young people, normally young men, to provincial towns and cities to deal Class A drugs on the streets, returning back to London or thereabouts with the cash profits.

“It is a dangerous business. Mr Enzanga was beaten up during the course of his activities street dealing.”

He asked that Enzanga’s relative youth be taken into account when passing sentence, telling the court that he was just 19 when the offence took place.

Mr Frymann called for his client to receive a determinate sentence, rather than one extended by an official finding of dangerousness under the law.

Michael Enzanga court case
Camera phone image issued by Hampshire Police of drug dealer Michael Enzanga (Hampshire Police/PA)

“Here is someone who is so young that the court should not make a final decision about whether he is and/or will be dangerous in future where so much changes or is capable of changing in a young person’s life.”

Judge Hetherington sentenced him to 16 years in prison, with a further four years on licence.

He must serve at least two thirds of the 16 years before he is eligible for parole.

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