Dad’s distress after shot Pc’s Ilford memorial is vandalised
- Credit: Archant/Met Police
The father of a police officer shot in the line of duty has spoken of his distress after vandals smashed his son’s memorial.
Colin Walters, whose son Pc Phillip Walters was killed in Empress Avenue, Ilford, 21 years ago, has told the Recorder of his pain upon hearing that the marble tribute had been broken into pieces, describing the news as “so distressing”.
Colin’s life changed irrevocably on April 18, 1995, when his son was called to a routine job with four other officers. They found three men beating another man and, as they tried to apprehend them, Pc Walters was shot once in the chest. He died later in hospital, aged 28.
A memorial was erected in Empress Avenue, near to where Pc Walters was shot, and on Friday residents woke to find the stone smashed to pieces.
Colin, 72, who lives nearby in Sackville Gardens, added: “If the police hadn’t told me I would have walked past and seen it on my way to Ilford.
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“They told me it was damaged but I didn’t realise how badly.”
Colin’s voice broke as he explained what he saw: “It was completely broken into bits, it’s just so mindless.
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“We’ve had flowers stolen from the memorial before, but nothing this bad.”
Paramedics who treated Pc Walters that night said the news left them “saddened and disgusted”.
Peter Jackson, 49, who was first on the scene, said: “It was one of those nights you never forget.
“I passed the memorial many times, it disgusts me that people would do this.”
Jill Bull, 59, who worked at Ilford Ambulance Station at the time, added: “I just cannot believe the news, I am totally devastated.”
Supt Tracy Goddard-King, from Redbridge Police, said enquiries were “ongoing”.
She added: “Pc Walters’ family have been fully consulted and updated.
“The stone has been removed at the moment for repair and with a view to it being re-laid at a later stage.”