Memorial to be unveiled to Ashfield police officer Christopher McDonald - 43 years after he was killed on duty
A memorial will be unveiled today (Monday) on the anniversary of the murder of Ashfield police officer Christopher McDonald.
It will be unveiled outside Worksop Library on the 43rd anniversary of PC McDonald’s death.
He had only served in the force for eight months when on May 17, 1978 he was killed with his own truncheon and a brick after chasing a suspected burglar in Worksop.
PC McDonald was born on March 19 1959 and joined Nottinghamshire Police in 1976 as a police cadet .
After his training, the officer was posted to police the Worksop area.
At that time, the force was investigating a series of commercial burglaries committed overnight around Worksop town centre.
PC McDonald, who was from Skegby, was working a night shift in Worksop and alone on foot patrol when he came across a jewellers shop, on Central Avenue, being burgled.
He bravely confronted a gang of offenders who subsequently fled the scene.
He gave chase, running towards the River Ryton, and managed to alert other officers over the radio about the crime.
The last report PC McDonald made over his radio was at 12.28am and said “I am chasing men over the waste ground...”
His body was later found in the town’s river, 200 yards away from the scene of the crime.
A post mortem examination that revealed he had suffered multiple head injuries and had drowned.
Later that same day, 20-year-old Peter Albert Loveday was arrested on suspicion of his murder.
Loveday had admitted fighting with the young officer and using his truncheon and a brick to beat him about his head and face.
He then claimed that he left PC McDonald by the side of the river.
Home Office pathologists stated that due to the state of his injuries, he would not have been capable of moving.
At the end of the trial in August 1978, Loveday was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
In 1980, PC McDonald was posthumously awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.
There is a memorial plaque to PC McDonald, on Bridge Street, in the town centre.