This time last year, South Auckland cop Simon Tate was recovering from a vicious beating during a routine traffic stop that left him unrecognisable, with serious head injuries.

Now he is celebrating the birth of his first child and a return to full-time policing.

The Counties Manukau officer was alone when attacked on a routine patrol on his first shift back at work last September after a holiday to the United States and Tahiti with his partner, Lisa Ross, also a police officer.

The 42-year-old went to investigate a report of disorder in Otara and was punched and kicked and had his head stomped on.


He suffered a brain bleed, many broken bones in his face, throat injuries and head wounds and needed several operations.

On July 28, he and Ms Ross had their first child, daughter Charlotte.

The couple could not be reached for comment yesterday, but supplied a photo of their baby for the latest edition of the Police Association magazine, Police News.

"While Simon has no memory of the attack that left him with facial fractures and an injured throat, Lisa said she found it extremely hard to deal with," the magazine reported.

"The severity of the attack scared her and made her think twice about policing work that she had previously taken for granted.

"However, with the benefit of counselling and the support of family and friends, life is starting to settle down again."

A month before Charlotte's birth, the couple posted a message on a Facebook page set up by members of the public to support Mr Tate.

"It's been 10 months since Simon was assaulted and we continue to get a lot of support and messages. Simon's latest surgery went well and he is improving each day.


"Still only working part time due to fatigue and memory difficulties, Simon hopes to be back full-time around the end of July. He is looking forward to it.

"We look forward to welcoming our daughter into the world in August. Thanks for the support."

Since Charlotte's birth, Mr Tate has returned to a 40-hour working week.

Police News reported that he still needed extra sleep to cope and got tired easily.

Ms Ross said that after 15 years in the force, he was "keen as ever to return to the front line".

Ms Ross works in the criminal justice support unit but is currently on maternity leave.

A 36-year-old man is due to go on trial for the assault on Mr Tate and an unrelated assault on a female.