Newham officers shot dead in sensational police chase remembered
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima
Two officers who were gunned down 52 years ago in one of the most sensational police chases in British history were remembered during a ceremony today.
Inspector Philip Pawsey and Police Sergeant Frederick Hutchins were shot by a crazed fugitive who escaped West Ham Police Station in 1961.
During the short ceremony at Stratford police station Chief Inspector Roger Mitham explained how on that fateful morning, (June 3), John Hall, a 30-year-old pilot, turned up at West ham Police station to hand himself in after reportedly seriously assaulting his wife, his mother and step sister.
When Hall was asked to empty his pockets he produced a pistol and began shooting, narrowly missing an officer before escaping down the stairs with several officers in pursuit.
Sgt Hutchins and another officer spotted Hall while driving along Tennyson Road. Hutchins then tackled Hall to the ground, but when he got to his feet he shot the two officers, resulting in Hutchins dying of his injuries.
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Moments later the gunman was seen by Insp Pawsey who was driving to work when he received a radio message to look out for an armed man. Moments later, Insp Pawsey was shot dead.
Hall also shot another officer, PC England, who was on a motorbike and managed to swerve the bullets. He then made off down Romford Road where police lost sight of him.
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Later that evening, Hall went to a phone box at Wanstead Flats and called the Sunday Express newsdesk. The reporter who answered managed to keep Hall talking and got him to reveal his location. Colleagues at the newspaper then informed police, which led to officers surrounding the phone box before Hall shot himself. He was taken to hospital where he later died of his injuries.
Police were joined by the officers’ family as a wreath was laid by a plaque in the front office at Stratford police station followed by a minute’s silence.