An off-duty police officer who confronted a violent woman armed with a hammer while dressed in her pyjamas and her hand in a plaster cast has been commended for her bravery.
PC Kelda Griffiths was getting ready for bed when she heard a disturbance and a banging noise outside.
When she went to investigate the noise on the Port Talbot, Wales, street she was confronted by a woman who was smashing the window of a house with a hammer.
The injuries inflicted on Gwent police office Kelda Griffiths after she was attacked in the street in Port Talbot
Although her right hand was in plaster after she fractured it arresting a violent man the week before, she didn’t hesitate trying to stop the woman, who by now was screaming, hitting windows and kicking parked cars.
PC Griffiths tried to calm the woman down, but she walked towards the officer swinging the hammer and screaming.
The woman then ran towards a man with the hammer raised, so the off-duty officer grabbed her from behind and managed to get hold of the hammer.
PC Griffiths said: ‘When I went out to the street, I could see her smashing the windows and I shouted at her, “What are you doing? Put that hammer down”.
The violent woman attacked the police officer, gouging her eyes, pulling her up by her hair and biting her head
‘She started walking towards me swinging the hammer from hand to hand, so I told her that police were on the way and she had to put the hammer down.
‘A man came out from another house with a large dog, and she started to shout that she was going to kill him. It was a really large hammer and she wasn’t far from him so I knew I needed to act as quickly as I could.’
She went to grab the woman but Griffiths fell to the floor and the woman’s mother arrived and stood on her plastered hand, stopping her from getting up.
The first woman then attacked the police officer, gouging her eyes, pulling her up by her hair and biting her head. She managed to kick the women away, threw the hammer towards the man so he could get rid of it, and ran into a house until police arrived.
PC Griffiths has previously been recognised for tackling killer Matthew Williams, as he lay over the body of Cerys Yemm, 22
PC Griffiths, who also confronted Matthew Williams after he had murdered Cerys Yemm at the Sirhowy Arms hostel in 2014, has now been recognised for her bravery at the 24th national Police Bravery Awards in London.
The awards, hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales, honour and recognise police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery.
PC Griffiths, who works for Gwent Police, said: ‘I’ve been involved in incidents where you get punched, you get hit, you get kicked but to have my eyes gouged the way they were, to be bitten, my hair being pulled out – it was just not human to me.
‘I could feel my hair being ripped out and she even said to me at one point, ‘I have got your blood in my mouth, yum, yum’.
PC Kelda Griffiths receiving her bravery award from AM Jane Hutt, Welsh Labour politician
‘But I do believe if the gentleman involved had got hit with the hammer, it would’ve been critical or life threatening. I couldn’t have lived with myself if something had happened to him and I hadn’t done anything.
Matthew Williams was dripping in blood when he was confronted by PC Kelda Griffiths
‘I can live with the injuries and what’s gone on in my life since but if I’d stood there and done nothing, I’d never live with myself and I don’t think I would put this uniform back on, I really don’t.’
PC Griffiths has 16 years’ service and has spent the majority of it in the Blackwood area. She has recently had surgery to repair her knee after the attack in May last year and is currently back in work on restricted duties.
‘It has been frustrating because I have been deskbound,’ she said. ‘I can’t wait to get back out on the road.’
Her attacker has now been freed after serving a 14-month sentence.
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘These awards highlight the incredible bravery that police officers show every single day. PC Griffiths demonstrated outstanding courage and dedication, putting the lives of others before her own without a second thought.’
Cerys Yemm, 22, had been attacked with a screwdriver by Williams before he started to commit acts of cannibalism