Friday 15 December 2017

Death-crash officer my hero: sister

The coffin of Constable Philippa Reynolds is brought into Mossley Methodist Church, Newtownabbey for her funeral
The coffin of Constable Philippa Reynolds is brought into Mossley Methodist Church, Newtownabbey for her funeral
Constable Philippa Reynolds, who died when her police car was struck by another vehicle (PSNI/PA)

A sister of a policewoman killed in a car crash in Northern Ireland has said she was her hero.

Philippa Reynolds, 27, touched many lives in such a short time, Debra Reynolds told funeral mourners at Mossley Methodist Church near Belfast.

She choked back tears as she paid tribute to her best friend and soul mate.

"I will remember her beautiful smile forever, the baby of the family is gone, my daddy's little girl," she said.

PSNI Constable Reynolds was a back seat passenger in the unmarked police car that was struck by a stolen 4x4 vehicle in Londonderry in the early hours of Saturday morning. Two men have been charged in connection with her death.

Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson, Sinn Fein deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott, Stormont Justice Minister David Ford and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan joined her parents Mervyn and Dorothy and other sister Nicola McDonald at the service.

A guard of honour was formed and her former colleagues carried her from the church in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, to the lament of a PSNI piper. A police cap and white flowers were borne on top of her coffin. She was aunt to Robyn and Luke, who walked forlornly behind the cortege in the rain.

Ms Reynolds recalled how any minor arguments were quickly forgiven and her sister loved music and nights out. She said: "Philippa held my hand through so much in life. In times that I needed her most she was there to carry me through no matter what."

She said the former teacher in Kilkeel, Co Down, and geography student at Queen`s University Belfast loved books. But she also referred to the keen hockey player`s whimsical side. "I have never known anyone except my mum to love shoes so much," she said.

PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott said she was a superb officer, the best of the best. He added she was compassionate and caring and wanted to make lives better. She was buried in Carnmoney cemetery.

Press Association

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