Berkshire

Funeral for Thames Valley PC hit by stolen car

Funeral procession at St Mary's Church in Chieveley
Image caption Hundreds of police officers lined the route of the funeral cortège towards St Mary's Church in Chieveley

Hundreds of police officers have attended the funeral of a PC who died after being hit by a stolen car.

Gareth Browning, 36 from Thames Valley Police, died on 1 April after suffering catastrophic brain injuries in 2013.

A police helicopter hovered in salute as the funeral cortège was led through a guard of honour at St Mary's Church in Chieveley, Berkshire.

Luke Hayward was jailed in 2014 for causing grievous bodily harm with intent and dangerous driving.

PC Browning's father was among those who gave a reading during the funeral service on Thursday.

The chief constable of Thames Valley Police, Francis Hapgood, also paid tribute.

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption PC Browning, who was medically retired following the crash, died on 1 April aged 36

PC Browning, a father of young twins, was on patrol in Reading in November 2013 when he tried to stop a stolen car driven by Hayward, a prisoner on day release.

But the car hit him at speed and he suffered catastrophic brain injuries, needing constant care.

Thames Valley Police Federation chairman Craig O'Leary said he and his colleagues would "never forget" PC Browning's "dedicated service and sacrifice to the public of Thames Valley".

He added: "The loss of a colleague is never an easy thing to come to terms with and this has had a profound impact on so many people.

Image caption PC Browning was on patrol in Reading in November 2013 when he tried to stop a stolen car driven by a prisoner on day release

"It's at times like this when you see that the strength and togetherness of the police family is stronger than ever.

"We will never forget Gareth and our thoughts remain with his family, friends and close colleagues at this time."

PC Browning's name has been added to a national police memorial in London.

Thames Valley Police and the Crown Prosecution Service are investigating whether further action can be taken against Hayward in light of PC Browning's death.

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