16 Jul 2008

Mourners at policeman's funeral top 1000

7:32 pm on 16 July 2008

More than 1000 mourners gathered at the funeral for the policeman struck by a stolen car near Wellington last week.

Sergeant Derek Wootton, 52, was laying road spikes in Titahi Bay early on Friday morning when he was hit by the car.

The funeral was held at the police college in Porirua on Wednesday afternoon.

Among the mourners were his colleagues, police representatives from Australia, Police Commissioner Howard Broad and Police Minister Annette King.

Mr Wooton's partner, Bronwyn Hewitt, spoke quietly about a best friend and soulmate she had expected to spend the rest of her life with.

Hundreds of uniformed officers formed a guard of honour as a piper, police motorcycles and police dogs led the hearse from the college.

Mr Wooton was the country's 27th police officer to die in the line of duty. He grew up in the area and had been a police officer for 14 years.