Special service for Coventry police officer PC Guthrie who was shot dead 50 years ago today - The Coventry Observer

14th Aug, 2022

Special service for Coventry police officer PC Guthrie who was shot dead 50 years ago today

Coventry Editorial 22nd Jul, 2022

A SPECIAL service has been held today to remember a newly-married police officer who was shot and killed whilst investigating an intruder alarm going off in Coventry.

The incident, in which 21-year-old PC Peter Guthrie died happened at city sports shop, CG Davies and Son, on July 22, 1972.

PC Guthrie must have suspected he could be in serious danger when he and a colleague responded to the break-in at the gun shop on Far Gosford Street.

The officers were ill-equipped to deal with armed offenders, this being decades before the introduction of body armour and tasers.

PC Guthrie was shot at point blank range by Anthony Jeffs with a shotgun he had stolen from the shop on this day in 1972.

Jeffs, who had ACAB – for All Coppers Are B******* – tattooed on his knuckles, had lain in wait for PC Guthrie and his colleague Sgt Gordon Meredith.

After PC Guthrie was shot, Sgt Meredith saw the gunman escaping through a window and tackled him to try to disarm him.

The two struggled and Sgt Meredith was shot in the thigh, but crucially managed to keep hold of the gun.

Jeffs escaped, but was shortly arrested by other officers and convicted of murder.

Jeffs was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years. He served a total of 28 years.

He was initially released on licence after 21 years but was recalled after a few months and continued with his sentence.

PC Guthrie was posthumously awarded the Queens Police Medal for gallantry.

Sgt Gordon Meredith was awarded the George Medal for his bravery in tackling the gunman.

At a service today (Friday, July 22), hosts Coventry National Association of Retired Police Officers were joined at PC Guthrie’s graveside by senior officers from West Midlands Police and Warwickshire Police along with West Midlands Police’s Honour Guard.

This was followed by the unveiling of a plaque by the Police Memorial Trust on Far Gosford Street.

Geraldine Winner, widow of the trust’s founder Michael Winner and chairman of the trust, unveiled the plaque with PC Guthrie’s widow Annamarie.

Retired Sgt Gordon Meredith GM and other retired police officers from Coventry were also present to remember their former colleague.

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