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LAMENT FOR HERO COP; AS SHOT SCOTS OFFICER RICKY IS LAID TO REST, TRIBUTES TELL OF DEVOTION TO THE FORCE.

Byline: By Brian McCartney

HERO PC Ricky Gray was mourned by his family and hundreds of police and Black Watch comrades yesterday.

Ricky, from Dundee, had a funeral with full police and military honours, led by a Black Watch piper, in his adopted home town of Shrewsbury.

The 43-year-old firearms officer saved the lives of two unarmed cops called to a domestic dispute in the town when he confronted a crazed gunman. But he paid with his own life.

Beat partner PC Matthew Crisp was with Ricky, who was born and raised in Dundee, when ratcatcher Peter Medlicott shot him before taking his own life.

Matthew told mourners yesterday: "Working with Ricky was sometimes like a Hollywood film. I've seen him commandeer a taxi to chase a suspect.

"He was never afraid to put himself in harm's way."

Another colleague, PC Chris Duffner, said: "He was always there for us, never to be doubted, one of only a few who I would truly trust my life with."

Mourners lined the streets as the cortege made the sombre journey to Shrewsbury Abbey. Three of the four pallbearers had served with Ricky in the BlackWatch, which he joined after leaving St Saviour's High in Dundee.

Pallbearer Colour Sergeant Ally Ancorn, who joined the Black Watch on the same day as Ricky, said: "I was not at all surprised by his bravery in tackling the gunman - that was the measure of the man."

Ricky's sons by his first marriage, Paul, 25, and Liam, 19, who still live in Whitfield, Dundee, joined widow Jenny, who he married last August in Venice, to head the mourners.

Chief Constable Paul West said his fallen officer was a "gentleman, a role model and ultimately, a hero".

And he told of how he had been commended five times for bravery, two of them at the very highest level.

The chief gave a final salute as armed response unit officers carried Ricky's coffin from the abbey.

CAPTION(S):

GUNNED DOWN: Ricky died on duty. Top, an officer breaks down. Above, Ricky's wife Jenny; FINAL JOURNEY: The coffin is carried into Shrewsbury Abbey, where mourners heard Ricky described as someone colleagues would trust with their life PA WIRE
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 19, 2007
Words:368
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