Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Two officers who were gunned down during a police chase 53 years ago were remembered at a memorial service this morning.
A wreath was laid down by a plaque in the front office at Stratford police station before a minute’s silence was held.
Inspector Philip Pawsey and Police Sergeant Frederick Hutchins were shot while pursuing an armed fugitive, 30-year-old John Hall.
Hall, a pilot, had turned up to hand himself in at West Ham police station on the morning of June 3, 1961, after reportedly seriously assaulting three women - his wife, mother and stepsister.
When asked to empty his pockets he produced a pistol and started shooting before escaping.
Sgt Hutchins was driving along Tennyson Road with another officer when he spotted him.
He tackled Hall to the ground but when he got up he shot the two officers, with Hutchins’ injuries proving fatal.
The gunman was also seen by Insp Pawsey, who was on the lookout while driving to work after receiving a radio message.
He, too, was shot dead by Hall.
Another officer, PC England, managed to swerve the bullets on his motorbike.
Later that evening, Hall called the Sunday Express newsdesk from a phone box at Wanstead Flats.
The reporter who answered managed to persuade Hall to reveal his location, leading to colleagues at the newspaper informing the police.
Officers surrounded the phone box before Hall shot himself, dying later in hospital from his injuries.
Chief Inspector Sean McDermid, speaking at the memorial service, said: “Inspector Pawsey and Sgt Hutchins showed exceptional bravery and made the ultimate sacrifice.
“They posthumously received the Queen’s police medal for gallantry.”