Chinese woman Shan He jailed over attacks on Chinese Sheffield University students

Shan He
Shan He came to Sheffield to study. Credit: South Yorkshire Police

A Chinese woman who was responsible for a series of attacks on Chinese students which caused widespread alarm has been jailed.

Nine students reported being injured in incidents, some of which involved bottles and a hammer, in Sheffield city centre in September last year.

The assaults gained significant coverage in Chinese media and led to the Chinese Consulate-General in Manchester pleading for "decisive measures" to protect international students.

Former university student and Chinese national Shan He, who moved to Sheffield to study, was later arrested. Police found a hammer in her carrier bag. 

The 34-year-old, formerly of Edward Street, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to four counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two counts of battery when she appeared at Sheffield Crown Court.

She was sentenced to 16 months in prison and will face deportation after being released.

'Considerable anxiety'

Insp Gareth Thomas, of Sheffield’s City Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "We know that this series of assaults last September caused considerable anxiety among the student communities living in our city, especially our Chinese student community, and I am grateful to both universities for their support during our inquiry. 

"Neighbourhood officers dedicated a significant amount of time to this investigation, trawling through hours of CCTV footage from across the city centre to find the person responsible for these terrifying attacks."

He added: "He’s victims have understandably been left incredibly distressed by what happened to them and what’s more, many of them were students from the Chinese community who had only recently arrived in Sheffield.

"We pride ourselves on Sheffield being an inclusive and welcoming place to study, but He’s awful crimes left those students feeling scared and incredibly vulnerable in a new city."