“IT’S devastating. He was my life.” Those were the words used by the widow of an inspirational police officer who died suddenly last week.
The family of 41-year-old PC Duncan Jones described him as a gentle giant who combined compassion and strength and helped to touch the lives of all those who met him.
Tributes to PC Jones, who died after being taken ill while teaching a class at Worcester Judo Club last Wednesday were led by his widow, Sarah.
Speaking at Worcester police station, she said her husband, who was Worcester born and bred, had dreamed of being a police officer since he was a boy and proved to be a natural in the job.
He worked as a constable for the last eight years and won two commendations.
Mrs Jones of Ronkswood, Worcester, said: "It is devastating. He was my life. He was dependable and reliable and he gave the best hugs that you could have. He made me feel safe and secure. He was a cuddly bear but if he needed to be forceful he could be forceful. He was a very soft person underneath. He loved to be the centre of attention. He would always do something for someone else. It is hard to put into words. Whatever I say isn't going to be enough to describe him."
He had deep roots in the city, attending Cherry Orchard and later Nunnery Wood High School before attending Worcester Sixth Form College. He also played as a centre back for Worcester Football Club on the first team and reserves.
PC Jones had worked at Tesco in St Peter's, Worcester, where he met his wife, marrying her in the city in 1997. He later worked at Morganite Crucible before redundancy gave him the chance to fulfil a dream and become a police officer.
He had an older brother Philip and three children - Jamie, 27, Beth, 15 and Daniel, 23. Daniel said the family realised how much work he had put into the judo club and how huge an operation it really was. Jamie described him as 'a selfless man' and 'a fantastic role model'. PC Jones' mother, Jenny Jones, said he was her 'rock', a wonderful son and her world.
PC Matthew Caesar said of his colleague: "He was an inspiration. He took me under his wing, not as a parent but as a mate, a colleague and and a peer. He was a big softy but he had the capability of wrapping someone up. He had compassion. He was caring." PC Caesar said PC Jones tended to be first in to work and last to leave and would always give up his own time for others and always gave 100 per cent in whatever he did.
He said: "He was one of a kind. He would put everyone before himself. He was life-changing, he was inspirational and he was loyal." At 6fft 2ins and between 15 and 16 stone he had the capacity to deal with trouble and protect colleagues and the public but would much rather communicate with them. He was awarded two commendations - one for pulling a man out of the river Severn at Worcester and another for his role in a difficult arrest. PC Jones had taken part in judo since the age of five and became a third degree black belt. He was National Police Judo Champion in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and represented the police on the European and world stage. He even appeared on TV show "You Bet!" performing 60 throws in 60 seconds but was perhaps best known for his work teaching the sport to disadvantaged youngsters, earning him the a Quality People Award.
The cause of his death remains inconclusive according to a post-mortem report. Many officers have already left tributes in a book of condolence at Worcester Police Station in Castle Street, He will receive a a full police funeral at St George's Church, St George's Square, Barbourne, Worcester on Friday, August 1 at noon followed by a private family committal at Worcester Crematorium and a wake at Sixways.