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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 20:45 GMT 21:45 UK
Mass held for stabbed officer
Det Con Swindells with his wife Carol
Mr Swindells had been a police officer for 14 years
Family, friends and colleagues of stabbed policeman Michael Swindells gathered at a special mass on Wednesday night at a church close to where he died.

More than 25 officers attended St Joseph`s Church in Nechells, Birmingham, for a special service in memory of Det Con Michael Swindells.

The 44-year-old died on Friday after he was knifed in the stomach while trying to make an arrest.

He leaves behind a wife and daughter.

It is very moving to receive an invitation from the community and we have welcomed the opportunity to reflect with local people on the very tragic events of the last few days
Chief Superintendent Tom Duffin

Wednesday night's hour-long service was organised by the local Catholic community and the 200-strong congregation was led by the Very Reverend Canon Patrick Browne, Episcopal Vicar for Birmingham.

Prayers and hymns were offered and a book of condolence, bearing a photograph of Mr Swindells, was presented to the priest and placed against the altar during the mass.

Canon Browne said: "As news of the tragic death of Michael Swindells spread round the city and in this area in particular, people spoke of their shock, their hurt, their disappointment, their dismay.

"And we asked ourselves 'What can we do?' Then came the idea of offering this mass, so we can pray for his family and pray for his colleagues and for this community."

Speaking after the mass, Chief Superintendent Tom Duffin, commanding officer at Queens Road police station where DC Swindells worked, said: "It is very moving to receive an invitation from the community and we have welcomed the opportunity to reflect with local people on the very tragic events of the last few days.

Memorial fund

"It reinforces the strong links that exist between the local people and the police, and I know there's a lot of suffering going on in the area, but so much support will be a comfort to Michael's family."

On Monday Glaister Butler, 48, from Long Acre in Nechells, was remanded by magistrates charged with Mr Swindells murder.

Det Con Swindells, who lived in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and was originally from Hyde, Greater Manchester, had been a policeman for 14 years.

West Midlands Police revealed on Tuesday that a bank account had been opened to receive donations for a fund in his memory.

Condolence books have also been opened at the force headquarters at Lloyd House and Queens Road police station in Aston where Mr Swindells worked.

Fund for stabbed officer's family
25 May 04  |  West Midlands
Man remanded over officer's death
24 May 04  |  West Midlands
Service for stabbed detective
23 May 04  |  West Midlands
Police pay tribute to stabbed officer
22 May 04  |  West Midlands

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