A GP receptionist who shielded patients with nothing more than a chair during an attack by a knife-wielding man last December has been praised and awarded £500 for her bravery.
Sophia Foucher, from the St Stephen's Health Centre in Bow, bravely directed terrified patients to safety with only a chair to protect herself.
Four people were seriously injured during the knife attacks by Jeffrey Leung last December when he stormed two GP practices, Tredegar Practice and St Stephen's where Ms Foucher works. Leung, who has been diagnosed with paranoid Schizophrenia, admitted four counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, has been sentenced to an indefinite hospital order.
"I directed patients to side rooms, locked the doors and called police. I went back into the surgery to stay with [Leung] because I knew someone needed to keep an eye on him. It was important that he didn't have a chance to hurt anyone else."
During the sentencing, Judge Caroline English praised Ms Foucher, and awarded her £500 for her bravery. She said: "The sheer terror and panic [Leung] caused is obvious. But I would like to praise reception manager Sophia who showed extreme courage. Her presence of mind and stoicism in the face of what was going on was quite remarkable."