Widow's 'disgust' over Porthleven police deaths book
7:00am Monday 10th December 2012 in Helston
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.”