Final tribute to knife-attack police officer

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A police officer who spent five months in a coma after being stabbed in a sweetshop raid was buried with full service honours yesterday at St Stephen's Church, Dulwich, south-east London.

Top police officers attended the funeral of PC George Hammond, who never fully recovered from the injuries he received 11 years ago when he tackled a teenager with a knife.

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Condon, and his predecessor, Sir Peter Imbert, headed a group of senior officers at the funeral, followed by a private burial at Camberwell Old Cemetery.

Mr Hammond was 47 when he chanced across a robbery as he stopped to buy some cigarettes on his way back to Peckham police station.

He was stabbed in the stomach with a 10-inch knife as he tackled Christopher Ogleton, 17, who had just robbed the shopkeeper of pounds 7. Ogleton was later sentenced to nine years' youth custody.

Mr Hammond lay in a coma for five months, had five major operations and needed a kidney transplant and a heart bypass operation. Mr Hammond, a father of three, returned to desk duties 17 months after the attack, but was never able to return to full duties and retired from the force in 1990.

He died last month in King's College Hospital, London, at the age of 58.