Search

19 years on Ilford Pc who made the ultimate sacrifice is commemorated

08:58 22 April 2014

The memorial stone on Empress Avenue

The memorial stone on Empress Avenue

Archant

What started out as a normal day on the job for a young Pc became a day that tragically altered everything, changing the lives of his friends, colleagues and loved ones forever.

Borough Commander Sue Williams laid a floral tribute by the memorial stone dedicated to PC Walters along with members of his family, followed by a minutes silence.Borough Commander Sue Williams laid a floral tribute by the memorial stone dedicated to PC Walters along with members of his family, followed by a minutes silence.

Pc Phillip Walters was called to a disturbance at a house on Empress Avenue on the evening of April 18, 1995 and attended with Pcs Derek Shepherd, Chris Joicey, Adrian Harris and Mark Rowan.

They believed it to be a routine disturbance, but the reality was far more sinister and they discovered three men beating the male occupant of the property after being paid to do so by his ex- lover.

As they tried to arrest one man, known as Ray Lee, Pc Walters fell victim to an explosion of violence and received a fatal gun shot wound to the chest as vicious Lee tried to escape punishment by shooting his way out.

He was taken to hospital but sadly died aged just 28.

PC Walters father Colin Walters laid a floral tribute at the stone.PC Walters father Colin Walters laid a floral tribute at the stone.

Sgt Shepherd, then a Pc, was also injured as he risked his own life by struggling to hold onto the suspect until help arrived, receiving a gun shot wound to his hand. He was off work for 10 months as he tried to come to terms with the loss of a man who was not just a colleague, but a close friend.

19 years on, Pc Walters’ family, friends and colleagues gathered to commemorate him at his memorial stone on Empress Avenue.

His mother, Jean Miller, said she remembered thinking after her son’s death: “I just don’t want him put in a drawer and forgotten.”

Praising the actions of Redbridge police and everyone who has helped commemorate her son over the years, she said: “They promised he wouldn’t be. I couldn’t ask for more.”

PC Walters mother, Jean Miller, laid a floral tribute by the memorial stone dedicated to him.PC Walters mother, Jean Miller, laid a floral tribute by the memorial stone dedicated to him.

Colin Walters, PC Walters’ father, said the family would also be visiting the memorial in Valentine’s Park.

“It was paid for by the Ilford Recorder,” he said.

“We will be going there tomorrow (Friday 18).

“All the way through, Ilford Recorder has been at our side and we are really grateful.”

Borough Commander Sue Williams joined family members in laying floral tributes at the stone, before a minutes silence began.

She said: “I was in the job 19 years ago so I do remember.

“Those that have been posted here to Redbridge will know about Phil Walters, because we keep his memory alive. We have a conference room dedicated to him and we have a memorial in that conference room.

“Policing is a difficult job, there’s no doubt about that. There are dangers and unfortunately my colleagues put themselves in front of that danger to keep London safe.”

Det Ch Supt Sue Williams then read out a poignant extract from Pc Walters’ autobiography about why he joined the police force, which all officers used to write.

He had written: “I would like to feel that my family can walk the streets of London safely. If I can play a small part to help achieve that, then I would be more than happy.”

“I think he made the ultimate sacrifice in trying to keep our streets safe,” she added.

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:00
Redbridge Town Hall. Picture: Redbridge Council

The search for a new chief executive of Redbridge Council is set to begin after Roger Hampson announced he will be retiring from the role next year.

Yesterday, 16:40
Lord Alan Sugar. Picture: PA/Philip Toscano

A teenager has been ordered to pay a celebrity businessman £100 in compensation.

Yesterday, 16:14
Redbridge Witzo,a women's group which raises money for women's causes, hosted a strawberry tea event at Old Parkonians Association in Ilford.Elsa Linder, Val Middlebungh, Gloria Soskin, Sean Devoren (Head Butler at the Savoy Hotel) Muriel Silver, Judy Rose, Norma Levinson and Maxine Karobik

Dreary weather could not stop the women of Redbridge Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO) from enjoying themselves as they hosted a strawberry tea event with a special guest.

Yesterday, 13:33
Campaign group People's NHS rallying in George Lane, South Woodford, and getting people to sign its petition to improve healthcare and stop privatisation of the NHS.

Campaign group People’s NHS held a rally in George Lane, South Woodford, on Saturday.

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder