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Thursday, 29 November, 2001, 15:49 GMT
Blair's message to PC's widow
PC Malcolm Walker's funeral
PC Malcolm Walker's coffin is carried into the cathedral
Prime Minister Tony Blair has sent a letter of condolence to the family of a police officer killed while on duty in Birmingham.

About 300 officers attended the funeral service at Lichfield Cathedral on Thursday in memory of PC Malcolm Walker who died after his motorbike was hit by a car last month.

Mourners heard West Midlands Chief Constable Sir Edward Crew read out the message from Mr Blair.

Addressed to PC Walker's wife Helen, it said: "Please accept my deepest condolences and sincere sympathy.

Malcolm Walker
Mr Walker had served in the force for 21 years
"This will be a most difficult time for you and your family and there will now be a huge gap in your lives.

"Words are of little consolation at such a time but I would like you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers."

PC Walker, 45, died after his motorbike was in collision with a Peugeot 406 car in Birchfield Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham.

The car had allegedly been stolen from a petrol station forecourt in Beeches Road, Walsall, shortly before the fatal incident.

A 21-year-old man has appeared at Birmingham Crown Court charged with murdering Mr Walker on 4 October.

Nicholas Walters, of Villa Street, Lozells, Birmingham, was also charged with the theft of a car, robbery and two firearms offences.

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