Tributes paid to hero PC killed in floods

A HERO policeman who was swept to his death in the Cumbrian floods had devoted himself to helping others cope with tragedy, mourners were told.

PC Bill Barker, 44, was commended for the support and compassion he showed as a Family Liaison Officer to grieving families who had lost loved ones suddenly in road accidents.

Around 500 people who packed into his funeral service in his home town of Egremont were told it was ironic his “beloved family” had to experience the very procedures he perfected.

The Chief Constable of Cumbria Police, Craig Mackey, said it was the force’s job to comfort Pc Barker’s family in their loss.

PC Barker was directing motorists away from Northside Bridge in Workington when it collapsed.

The father-of-four plunged into the swollen waters of the River Derwent in the early hours of last Friday. His body was found later that day on a beach in nearby Allonby.

The rains that have lashed the county gave way to rays of sunshine as people stood in silence outside St Mary and St Michael Church to pay their final respects.

His colleagues formed a guard of honour outside the church entrance to greet one of their own as widow Hazel, 45, and children Simon, 16, Melissa, 15, Daniel, 13, and seven-year-old Emma entered the church.

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