Thousands mourn fallen policewoman

A city has united in memory of a fallen "brave as they come" policewoman who made a "great sacrifice" when she was killed in the line of duty.

Thousands of members of the public stood shoulder to shoulder with police officers from across the country as the funeral cortege for Pc Nicola Hughes, 23, passed through the centre of Manchester.

They heeded the call from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) for "decent people" to come out and pay their respects to the officer and her colleague Fiona Bone, 32, whose funeral will take place on Thursday.

Both officers were lured to their deaths in a gun and grenade attack by what appeared to be a routine burglary call to a house in Hattersley, Tameside, on September 18.

Police motorcycle outriders provided a guard of honour ahead of the cortege, led by the funeral carriage pulled by six horses from GMP's mounted unit and bearing the coffin shrouded in black cloth.

Officers who walked behind were met with applause by the crowds who lined Deansgate and the clapping continued until the first chime was sounded at Manchester Cathedral to mark a period of silence before the service began.

The family of Pc Hughes led mourners into the cathedral, including her mother Susan, father Bryn and younger brother Sam, while the coffin was carried by colleagues of Pc Hughes, with the officer's hat and a floral tribute atop.

Officers from forces nationwide volunteered to cover the shifts of GMP colleagues so they could be among the 1,000 mourners inside the cathedral - many who worked in the Tameside police division alongside Pc Hughes.

The chief constable of GMP, Sir Peter Fahy, told the congregation that Pc Hughes "set high standards for herself" and "impressed everyone with her dedication and her cheerfulness" in her three years of service with the force.

He said that when first recruited there was "never any doubt" she would meet the standards the public expected from the uniform.