This week marks 38 years since a 19-year-old police constable was murdered with his own truncheon when he chased after a suspected burglar.
Christopher McDonald, a 19-year-old Probationary Constable, was the first officer of Nottinghamshire Police to be killed in the line of duty.
He had only served in the force for eight months when on 17 May 1978 he was killed with his own truncheon and a brick after chasing a suspected burglar.
The enthusiastic young officer, from Skegby, had responded to an alarm sounding at a jeweller’s shop in Central Avenue, in Worksop town centre during his night shift.
At the scene he saw the suspects and chased them towards the River Ryton.
Whilst other officers were on their way, PC McDonald radioed in to say he was in contact with the suspects. But after sending a further message of their whereabouts at 12.28am nothing further was heard from him.
A search was launched and his body was found later that morning in the river, just 200 yards from the scene of the burglary.
Later the same day 20-year-old Peter Albert Loveday was arrested and subsequently convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
In 1979, the Christopher McDonald Trust was launched. Each year selected officers benefit from the trust by taking part in an outdoor pursuit training and educational scholarship to encourage teamwork and personal reflection.
In 1980 PC McDonald was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.
Memorial plaques for PC McDonald are in Worksop Police Station’s reception and in Bridge Street in Worksop town centre.
A memorial stone in the grounds of our Headquarters reads Spectemur Agendo, which means ‘By your deeds may you be known.’