Former North Herts police officer gets on his bike in memory of PC

Mandy Rayner died aged 18

Mandy Rayner died aged 18 - Credit: SOUTH BEDS NEWS AGENCY 01582 572

A former detective will set off on a 180-mile cycle ride tomorrow, Friday, paying tribute to the youngest woman to be killed in Britain while serving as a police officer.

Retired North Herts detective Frank Parsons is taking part in the UK Police Unity Tour 2014 in memory of Mandy Rayner, who was killed in 1982 by a drunk driver while on patrol in a police car.

The officer, based at Hitchin Police Station, had joined the force four months earlier and was 18 when she died.

Frank was also on duty and called to the scene in Royston, where Mandy was pronounced dead after the car flipped over several times.

Her colleague PC Roy Bowdery, who had been driving the parked car, was seriously injured.

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The drunk driver – who had been travelling on the A505 from Baldock – was jailed for five years for manslaughter and served three years and four months.

Now, more than three decades on, Frank will be joining other serving and retired police officers who will set off from National Police Memorial in London tomorrow and cycle through six counties to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on Sunday.

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The finish has been chosen as memorials to officers are kept there, including a blue lamp based outside Hitchin Police Station at the time of Mandy’s death.

Having retired from the police force 12 years ago, Frank now works as an assistant investigator with the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.

The 61-year-old will present Mandy’s widowed mother Sylvia Rayner with a bracelet bearing the name of her daughter as part of the fundraiser, which is in aid of family support charity Care of Police Survivors.

“I was a young detective and on duty the night Mandy died and arrived on the scene in the aftermath”, said the 61-year-old.

“I attended her funeral and this means a lot to me to be able to do this and give something back to COPS.”

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