Memorial to Yorkshire police officer defaced in fire attack

A MEMORIAL to a Yorkshire police officer who was shot dead on duty has been vandalised in an attempt to set it on fire.

The stone marks the place in Leeds where unarmed Pc Ian Broadhurst was gunned down on Boxing Day 2003.

Police said the memorial stone was "blackened" during an attempt to set it on fire using some form of accelerant.

Last month vandals spray painted a silver swastika on the memorial near Leeds Parish Church to Sgt John Speed, 39, who was killed in the line of duty 26 years ago.

The vandalism, being treated by police as "racial damage", happened a week after Sgt Speed's annual remembrance service – he was killed on October 31, 1984.

Damage to Pc Broadhurst's memorial was reported to police on Monday. Officers believe it happened between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Traffic officer Pc Broadhurst, 34, was shot by former US Marine David Bieber near the junction of Dib Lane and Grange Park Avenue in Oakwood, Leeds. His colleagues Pc Neil Roper and Pc James Banks were also shot by Bieber.

They incident happened after they saw Bieber's car was displaying false number plates while parked in Dib Lane and they attempted to arrest him.

Bieber, 42, was found guilty of murder and two counts of attempted murder in 2004 and was jailed for life with a recommendation that he should never be released.

In 2008 Appeal Court judges said he should serve a minimum of 37 years in prison before being considered for parole.

Chief Superintendent Richard Jackson, divisional commander for north east Leeds, said: "Police officers go to work every day never knowing what could happen and thankfully few never make the ultimate sacrifice made by Ian Broadhurst.

"The memorial is a way for local people, local officers and Ian's friends and family to mark the terrible events of December 26, 2003 and for someone to deliberately vandalise the memorial is about as despicable as it's possible to get.

"I would ask the local community to come forward with any information they may have so we can ensure they are brought to justice."

Contact police via 0854 60 60 606.