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Chief Constable joins tributes to Suffolk police hero John Hood after coronavirus death

PUBLISHED: 13:55 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:55 30 March 2020

John Hood, pictured in 2016 when he won the Police Hero award at Stars of Suffolk for rescuing four girls from the sea   Picture: ARCHANT

John Hood, pictured in 2016 when he won the Police Hero award at Stars of Suffolk for rescuing four girls from the sea Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Tributes have continued to pour in for former Stars of Suffolk winner John Hood, who has died at the age of 66 after contracting coronavirus.

John Hood pictured in 2016 when, as a PCSO, he rescued four teenage girls from the sea at Felixstowe. Picture: Sarah Lucy BrownJohn Hood pictured in 2016 when, as a PCSO, he rescued four teenage girls from the sea at Felixstowe. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

John, from Felixstowe, developed symptoms of Covid-19 more than a week before his admission to Ipswich Hospital on March 20, and died last week. The former police community support officer had underlying health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.

He has been described as a “kind, generous and courageous man” by his partner, Nita Crossley, who he lived with.

Today, Suffolk Chief Constable Steve Jupp spoke of his sadness at the news on Twitter. He wrote: “On behalf of Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Police send condolences to John’s family and friends, thinking of you at this sad time.”

In 2016, John won a Stars of Suffolk award for diving into the sea off Felixstowe beach to rescue four girls.

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Despite having a pacemaker to correct a slow heartbeat, the PCSO swam 250m to the aid of the girls who were in danger of drifting out to sea in a rubber dinghy.

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Former police officer Ali Livingstone said: “I was nominated for the Stars of Suffolk the year that John won it so we both attended the awards ceremony. I remember spending the evening chatting and reminiscing about old times.

“John was incredibly enthusiastic about his role as a PCSO and he became someone that officers in Ipswich came to know and trust.

“He was always out on his beat and I’m sure that there will be a lot of local people in the community who will remember his friendly face. My heart goes out to his partner and family.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey also paid tribute on Twitter. She wrote: “Very sorry to learn of the death due to coronavirus of John Hood from Felixstowe, who served our community.”

Originally from, Dunedin, New Zealand, John came to the UK in 2004 with his then partner, Jayne Lindill, who was returning to her native Suffolk.

MORE: Stay up to date with our Suffolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook page

John had worked as a radio presenter in New Zealand and Australia, but when he came to Suffolk he seized the opportunity to take on a new career as a PCSO with Suffolk Constabulary, serving between 2007 and 2018.

John was also involved in local amateur theatre as a talented director and actor.


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