Memorial to Blackpool officer gunned down as he chased gem thieves

More than 100,000 people lined the streets for Supt Gerald Richardson's funeral on August 25, 1971
More than 100,000 people lined the streets for Supt Gerald Richardson's funeral on August 25, 1971
0
Have your say

The most senior policeman to be killed in Britain since the 1840s will be remembered at a ceremony in Blackpool next month.

Forty years to the day after Superintendent Gerry Richardson was gunned down as he chased armed jewellery robbers, a memorial will be unveiled at Aspire Academy in Blackpool Old Road.

Minister of State for Policing, Mike Penning MP, will catch a train from London to be at the noon event, which will be held where Blackpool Grammar School – where Supt Richardson was educated – once stood.

Born in the resort in 1932, Supt Richardson was shot at point-blank range as he tackled Frederick Joseph Sewell, and died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital aged 38, on August 23, 1971.

He was unarmed and knew that two of his colleagues had already been shot – but challenged Sewell regardless, saying: “Don’t be silly, son.”

More than 100,000 people lined the town’s streets ahead of Supt Richardson’s funeral, held at St John’s Church, and he was posthumously awarded the George Cross.

Buried at Layton Cemetery, Supt Richardson’s gravestone reads: “For justice and law good men must die, but death cannot kill their names.”

Supt Richardson’s killer, Joseph Sewell was released in 2001 after serving a 30-year sentence for murder.

He admitted his broke his own mother’s heart with that callous act – she never forgave him.

“He was too brave,” Sewell said later.