Widow's tears as 'selfless and giving' Pc Dave Phillips is laid to rest
Tears poured down the face of Pc Dave Phillips' widow as she and her two daughters followed her husband's coffin from Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.
Jen Phillips, 28, remained courageous and dignified as she walked behind the six uniformed pallbearers who carried the Merseyside police officer who died in the line of duty following a hit-and-run.
The congregation erupted in spontaneous applause for the fallen officer as his coffin - draped in a silk cloth with the force's emblem, was carried from the city's cathedral following the hour-long funeral service.
The father-of-two was killed after he was hit by a Mitsubishi pick-up truck while trying to use a stinger device on the stolen vehicle in Wallasey in the early hours of October 5.
Thousands of people turned out to pay their last respects to the 34-year-old in the moving ceremony.
During the service tributes were paid to Pc Phillips who was described as one of the "finest" officers by the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Sir Jon Murphy.
He told mourners that Pc Phillips had been "a local boy who joined his local force, Merseyside Police, to serve his local community".
He added that the country had been left outraged by the loss of the dedicated and courageous officer.
In addressing the congregation he said: "On that terrible night Dave showed dedication to duty, he did everything in his power to keep the public safe, he acted in the finest traditions of the police service. He too was brave.
"But Dave didn't come home and the police service of the United Kingdom and beyond is here today to honour him."
Pc Phillips' two sisters also paid tribute to their brother and said they had been left "humbled" by the outpouring of support they had received following his death.
One sister, Hannah Whieldon proudly said: "He would never have chosen this time to leave us. We all need him so much, especially his wife and precious daughters, but he was called to be with God, where I have no doubt he is happily mowing the golf greens of heaven in preparation for a game, whilst keeping an eye out for us all."
She added: "A man that great, that selfless and giving doesn't just leave you. Every word he ever said to us has left a track."
Two songs were performed to the congregation from the musical Les Miserables - favourites of Pc Phillips and his wife.
Stars was performed by Jeremy Secomb and Bring Him Home by the Greater Manchester Police Male Voice Choir who were stood in an arrow shape behind the coffin.
Prior to the service scores of uniformed officers from Merseyside Police had marched behind the hearse as it was led through Liverpool by horses from the force's mounted department.
But as Mrs Phillips left the church following the service she clung on to eldest daughter Abigail, seven, who was dressed in white.
The mother and daughter had lit a candle for Pc Phillips during the service.
Within the church two framed pictures of Pc Phillips and his family bookmarked the officer's coffin, which had been adorned with blue and white flowers.
One picture showed the father holding hands with his daughters Abigail, seven and Sophie, three, as they walked through a forest.
Rev Lyndon Bannon described Pc Phillips as "a loving gentleman".
He said that, as an officer, he had "served the nation" and, like other officers, had put his life on the line every day.
The Right Reverend Keith Sinclair, the Bishop of Birkenhead, said: "There are no words that can explain or make sense of what happened on October 5, one of Merseyside's finest policemen, a gentleman, a true friend, who one moment was doing his duty in the early hours with his colleagues speaking on the radio and then suddenly taken away and gone."
There was not a seat left empty in the cathedral as Pc Phillips' colleague, Dave Lamont, told the mourners his friend he was "truly fantastic".
He spoke of his last shift with the officer.
"On our last shift together Dave and I were just chatting. All we wanted in life was a shed. He wanted a shed for his tools to improve his DIY, I wanted one to have a nap.
"Well Dave I'm going to get my shed and I'm going to put a little disco ball up to remember you."
His sister, Kate Phillips, addressed the congregation with a poem she had written in memory of her brother before wiping away the tears.
A message in the order of service from Pc Phillips' family thanked everyone for their support: "Your love and support has helped us through this time of abject misery and pain. We would not have been able to cope had it not been for all of you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."