Radio Sandwell News

Funeral For PC Shot Dead In Manchester

2012-10-03 19:02:57

Thousands of officers lined the procession route for the funeral of Nicola Hughes, one of two policewomen killed in a gun and grenade attack.

All bowed their heads when the cortege passed by as it made its way through the city centre to Manchester Cathedral for the service.

They were joined by hundreds of members of the public who heeded a call from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) for "decent people" to stand shoulder by shoulder with the force in tribute to PC Hughes, 23, and her colleague, PC Fiona Bone.

There was spontaneous applause from the crowd as the procession passed until chimes began to sound from the cathedral as mourners observed a 15-minute silence.

Six officers on horseback formed a guard of honour as the hearse arrived at the building.

Entry to the church was reserved for family, friends and colleagues of the victim, including her mother Susan, father Bryn, and younger brother Sam.

 

GMP officers acted as pallbearers with PC Hughes' police hat on top of the coffin and a full-size photograph of the officer was mounted at the front of the church.

A big screen relayed the funeral at the rear of the building for hundreds more people gathered outside.

GMP chief constable Sir Peter Fahy spoke of PC Hughes being "incredibly mature" despite her young years and said she died from "her own devotion to others".

He added: "Nicola, in her dedication and professionalism, in the way she carried out her duties, showed that policing is not about muscle but reason, restraint and intelligence."

He said: "She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her. We will never forget her great sacrifice."

Police chaplain Keith Stewart asked mourners to "remember a vibrant young woman" who was a green belt in karate but also enjoyed looking after her nails and hair and who still had "something of the little girl about her".

 

Officers from forces across the country volunteered to cover the shifts of GMP colleagues so they could attend the funeral.

As the hour-long service ended, officers stood to attention, shoulder to shoulder, to line the route from the cathedral with police motorcycle outriders and the mounted police again forming up for a guard of honour.

PC Hughes died in the line of duty alongside PC Bone, 32, when they were called to investigate a burglary in Hattersley, Tameside, on September 18.

PC Hughes joined the police force in 2009. Her family said she wanted to make a difference and was doing a job she loved.

Fellow officers described their young colleague as a chatterbox, someone always smiling, with a bubbly, infectious personality.

In the wake of the deaths, police chiefs said they have been overwhelmed and heartened by the public support with more than 25,000 messages of condolence on its website, 19,000 via Facebook and another 1,000 on Twitter.

Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, described the force's fallen policewomen as "two wonderful human beings, two very dedicated officers".

The funeral of PC Bone will take place at the cathedral at 10am tomorrow.

Dale Cregan, 29, has been charged with the murder of both policewomen.

Source: sky news

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