Clacton: Shot PC 'Unlawfully Killed'

An off-duty police officer was unlawfully killed in Essex as he tried to wrestle a revolver away from a crazed gunman to protect a member of the public, a coroner has ruled.

Pc Ian Dibell, 41, a father-of-two, was shot while trying to intervene in a dispute near his home in the seaside town of Clacton, on July 9 last year.

His killer, 64-year-old Peter Reeve, had run amok in a residential street as he attacked his neighbour Trevor Marshall and Mr Marshall's girlfriend, Katarzyna Karolak.

The following day, Reeve was found dead after shooting himself once through the forehead in All Saints churchyard in Writtle.

At an inquest into both deaths at Chelmsford Crown Court, coroner for Essex and Thurrock Caroline Beasley-Murray ruled that Pc Dibell had been unlawful killed by a single wound to the chest.

She recorded a verdict of suicide for Reeve, whom she described as "troubled" after hearing he had a history of mental health problems.

The former mechanic had become obsessed with the idea that his neighbours were dealing drugs and printing money, the inquest was told.

He had previously threatened to kill them and himself, but said he was sorry for murdering Pc Dibell in a letter to a friend before ending his own life.

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