Widow's 'disgust' over Porthleven police deaths book

The widow of a police officer whose car was fatally swept into Porthleven harbour in the 1970s has spoken of her “disgust” at a new book documenting that night.

Deidre Childs was married to Helston officer PC Joseph Childs, who along with PC Martin Reid, perished in the storms of December 1978.

One of their colleagues, retired police constable Jim Moran, has now written a book called Alpha Four Two No Response, giving his description of the night the two officers went missing and the subsequent search.

He has already sold more than 100 copies, with a donation going to the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary Widows', Orphans' and Compassionate Fund.

However, Mrs Childs has this week hit back at the book claiming it is inaccurate and in “bad taste.”

She told the Packet: “I am extremely upset and disgusted at the book. It is an insult to the dead.

“An ex policeman is making money on the back of two dead heroes. They were doing their job; they weren’t sightseeing in Porthleven.”

Mrs Childs said when she was approached by Mr Moran for information she initially believed it was for a chapter as part of his own autobiography.

She claims that when she realised his intention she asked Mr Moran not to go ahead with the publication.

“I’ve asked several people about what they think and they think it’s extremely bad taste,” she said.

Mrs Childs added: “If he was a gentleman he would give all the money to police charities.”

Defending his actions, Mr Moran said: “I did speak to her before I was going to do the book, on more than one occasion. I asked her to take part in it and she declined; I said she could have a look at the book afterwards and edit it if she wished and she declined.

“She has not spoken to me personally about anything in connection with the book and I’ve hear no complaints from her.” He also made clear that the only money he would be taking was recouping the production and publication costs, with the rest going to the police charity.

“I’m not making any money from the book; the money is going to charity,” said Mr Moran, who added: “The Reid family have congratulated me on the book and are absolutely thrilled I’ve done this for Martin.”

Comments (2)

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8:03am Mon 10 Dec 12

Gill Zella Martin 09 says...

I bought the book and although I have yet to read it, I think it is a nice tribute. It would appear that Mrs childs was given the opportunity to edit the book if she thought any of the content was inaccurate.
I bought the book and although I have yet to read it, I think it is a nice tribute. It would appear that Mrs childs was given the opportunity to edit the book if she thought any of the content was inaccurate. Gill Zella Martin 09

7:07am Tue 11 Dec 12

jane-w says...

Gill it would appear that what you say is right and the author is not making any money out of it merely recouping costs with the rest going to the police charity so I dont think anyone can really complain about this and it would seem a worthy cause. Im sorry if it brings up bad memories for her and her family but the fact is she was consulted so had knowledge of what was going to happen. Two men sadly died during their duty and may they RIP - I do hope that the money raised will go to help others that suffer.
Gill it would appear that what you say is right and the author is not making any money out of it merely recouping costs with the rest going to the police charity so I dont think anyone can really complain about this and it would seem a worthy cause. Im sorry if it brings up bad memories for her and her family but the fact is she was consulted so had knowledge of what was going to happen. Two men sadly died during their duty and may they RIP - I do hope that the money raised will go to help others that suffer. jane-w

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