Shotgun near body of man found at Blofield Heath

A POPULAR and respected community police officer has been found dead in a field at Blofield Heath.

The body of PC Mike Gard, 37, was found by a member of the public near a track on open farmland on April 19.

Norfolk police have investigated his death and found there were no suspicious circumstances.

PC Gard, who was born in Great Yarmouth and lived in Worlingham, near Beccles, served for Suffolk police at Southwold, Beccles and Halesworth.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong opened and adjourned an inquest into PC Gard’s death at the coroner’s office in Thorpe Road, Norwich, this week.

Mr Armstrong said: “Police officers were called to a remote rural location and arrived to find a body which was lying in shrubbery near a tree.

“He had suffered very significant head injuries and there was a shotgun nearby. It was immediately obvious that he was dead.

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“A postmortem was carried out which found the cause of death was massive trauma to the head.

“There are not believed to be any suspicious circumstance or any third person involved.”

PC Gard joined Suffolk Constabulary in 1998 and started his career in Beccles before becoming a community police officer at Halesworth.

He later returned to Beccles as a response officer where he served as a tutor constable and acting sergeant. PC Gard moved to Southwold in 2005 and most recently had returned to Beccles.

A colleague of PC Gard paid tribute to him on social networking website Twitter: “I and my colleagues are in mourning - shocking, terrible loss of a fantastic person and copper.

“Losing a colleague in such tragic circumstances always puts everything else into a different perspective.”