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Constable's crash death: pair charged

Published 11/02/2013

TWO men have been charged in connection with the death of police officer Philippa Reynolds.

A 25-year-old has been charged with 10 offences including causing death by dangerous driving, stealing a car and burglary.

A 23-year-old has been charged with stealing a car, burglary, criminal damage and assisting offenders.

Both are due to appear before Derry Magistrates Court today.

Constable Reynolds (27), was a back-seat passenger in an unmarked police vehicle hit by a stolen Toyota Land Cruiser at Dale's Corner, on Limavady Road in the Water-side area of Derry, at 3.30am on Saturday.

Police believe she was killed instantly. Two colleagues sustained minor injuries.

Constable Reynolds, from the Ballyhill area of Nutt's Corner in Co Antrim but stationed at Strand Road in Derry, was a schoolteacher before joining the PSNI two years ago.

She was a former pupil of Antrim Grammar School.

Clubmates from Owls Ladies Hockey Club said in a statement on the club's website that the former captain of the 2nd XI would be missed.

"Philippa was a huge part of this club both on and off the pitch. She will always be in our thoughts," it read.

It is understood Constable Reynolds studied at Liverpool Hope University. Her parents were in the US when they were told of her death and are on their way home.

Her district commander, Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin, described her as a "beautiful, friendly, bubbly officer".

"Her colleagues are devastated as I am as her commander, as we all are as a police service," he said.

Chief Constable Matt Baggott said it was a personal tragedy for her family and the entire police service who would "ensure that no stone remains unturned as we work to bring to justice those who perpetrated this crime".

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan extended his condolences to the Reynolds family.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described Constable Reynolds's death as "devastating news".

Justice minister David Ford called on car criminals to "reflect on the consequences of their actions".

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan said Constable Reynolds had been killed while trying to protect the community.

Sinn Fein MLA Raymond McCartney urged anyone with information to pass it to police.

Tributes were also paid by UUP Policing Board member Ross Hussey and board chairman Brian Rea.