Former town policeman dies after short illness

TRIBUTES have been paid to one of the town’s best-known community policing officers.

Stuart Tomlinson passed away on Thursday from pancreatic cancer, having been diagnosed just weeks ago.

The 48-year-old is survived by Carol and his children Hannah and Michael.

Stuart, who served with local police for 29 years, was well-liked within the area and described as a committed and enthusiastic worker.

His former boss, retired District Commander Superintendent Mervyn Waddell, said Stuart simply wanted to help people.

“Stuart was a very amenable person,” said Mr Waddell. “I knew him straight out of training college and from the beginning he was committed and enthusiastic. He always had a good sense of humour in the years I knew him.

“He genuinely enjoyed working with people and was liked by young and old.”

Stuart spent around eight weeks in hospital following his diagnosis, before spending recent weeks at his mother’s home in Belfast where he passed away on Thursday.

Local councillor Glenn Barr added his sympathies on the death of the prominent policeman.

“I would like to send my deepest sympathies to Mr Tomlinson’s family,” he said. “He was a well-known and well-liked man and he served his community very well over the years.”

The funeral will be held this morning at 11am in Scarva Street Presbyterian Church with cremation afterwards at Roselawn in Belfast.