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09.12.2004 General News

UK Police officer dies in Ghana

By Daily Post

A FORMER Cheshire police officer who served in Bosnia with a UN task force has died tragically five years later during another assignment in Africa.

Dog handler John Nuttall was the first Cheshire officer to swap his regular beat to act as an adviser in the war-torn towns of the Balkans.

Now Mr Nuttall, 48, who has lived in Australia for four years, has died from cerebral malaria after being bitten by a mosquito as he helped Liberians to re-build their lives following years of civil strive.

He was rushed to a hospital in Ghana but never recovered after complaining only two days before of a stomach bug.

Members of his family in Manor Park North, Knutsford, learned of his death after UN officials contacted his next of kin with the news.

Mr Nuttall, who had four children, said one of his biggest regrets when he went to Bosnia shortly before Christmas in 1998 was to leave behind his two police dogs, Lupus, a German shepherd and his Labrador, Wilf.

After his 12-month role in Bosnia as a member of the International Police Task Force, he went on a further UN mission in East Timor where he faced gunmen and disease. In Liberia, he had been helping to disarm rebels, many only children, after the 14-year-old civil war ended with a peace agreement.

His daughter Mary said he had enjoyed travelling and seeing different cultures and another daughter, Katy, added: "We were starting to get used to him going to dangerous places. He just wanted to help other people."

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