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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
City at standstill for Pc funeral
Pc Carroll's widow Caroline
Pc Carroll's widow Caroline followed the funeral cortege
Police officers formed a guard of honour as a city centre was brought to a standstill for the funeral of a colleague who died in a crash.

Pc Joe Carroll, 46, originally from West Yorkshire, died when his car left the A69 in Northumberland on 13 April.

Hundreds of police officers attended the service on Wednesday at Cathedral Church of St Mary, in Newcastle.

Steven Graham, 39, a staff sergeant at Sandhurst Military Academy, is accused of Pc Carroll's manslaughter.

He was remanded in custody when he appeared before magistrates in Northumberland last week.

Joe's death reminds us of the fragility of life
Chief Constable Mike Craik

Shoppers and office workers stood in silence as the coffin was piped into the cathedral, followed by Pc Carroll's widow, Caroline, 46, family members and friends.

Hundreds of police had already arrived at the cathedral, including Insp Brian English, who was injured in the incident and remains on sick leave.

The procession left for the 33-mile trip from Pc Carroll's home near Bellingham, where he was a beat bobby for 13 years, flanked by police motorcycle outriders.

On the final few hundred yards, four police horses escorted the hearse to the cathedral.

Emotional day

Father Harry O'Reilly, who presided over the marriage of Pc Carroll and his wife 21 years ago, conducted the service.

He paid tribute to the friend he had known for almost 28 years and said the tributes already paid showed how much he was loved. He said the officer's life was "a work of art".

Father O'Reilly added: "The masterpiece will only happen when Caroline and... the rest of us join him in heaven.

PC Joe Carroll with his dog Fudge
Tributes were paid to the long-serving officer

"Joe has got an early bus, but the rest of us are sure to follow."

Northumbria Police Chief Constable Mike Craik read a passage from Corinthians at the request of Mrs Carroll.

Afterwards, he said it had been an emotional and difficult day.

He said: "Joe's death reminds us of the fragility of life.

"He was a happy man, always with a smile on his face.

"It shone from him and was what made Joe special."

After the Mass, a guard of honour of 60 officers lined the street outside the cathedral, and lowered their heads as the hearse passed them.

Pc Carroll joined the North Yorkshire force for two years before moving to Northumbria Police in 1984.

Watch the funeral cortege drive through Newcastle city centre


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