TWENTY-five years after her policeman husband was gunned down by a robber, Sue Bishop says a day never passes when he is not in her thoughts.

Acting Sgt Brian “Bill” Bishop was shot by an armed raider in 1984 and died five days later.

Yet Sue – herself a former police officer – says it was a proud day when their son, David, followed in his parents’ footsteps and joined the force.

David was just ten when Brian was gunned down in Central Avenue, Frinton.

His killer, Colin Richards, had held up post offices in Walton and Frinton with a sawn-off shotgun, escaping with thousands of pounds.

Brian was already home from work when the call came, but because he was firearms-trained, was called to the railway embankment where the money had been stashed.

The 6ft 7in-tall officer was crouching behind a car door when Richards came along the road.

The killer shot Brian in the head and the bullet rebounded into the groin of a second officer, Sgt Mervyn Fairweather.

Sue, 62, of Fuller’s Lane, Old Heath, Colchester, says: “There’s not a day goes past where we don’t think about it.”

She adds: “When the call came in, Brian went back out again.

“Obviously, the risk was always at the back of my mind, particularly because of what he did, but I don’t think you ever expect it to happen.”

Even before Brian’s death, their young son had spoken of becoming a police officer.

The shooting – the first murder of an Essex Police officer in the line of duty since the Twenties – did nothing to put him off.

Sue says: “You just hope lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place. David always wanted to do it and I am very proud of him.”

Killer Richards was sentenced to life in prison for the crime – and freed ten years ago.

The Bishops are kept informed of his movements and he still requires the family’s permission before he can come into Essex.

Sue adds: “The last time, we said no. After all, who are the victims here?”

In the months following her husband’s death, having been suddenly been thrust into the role of a single parent, Sue admits life was tough.

She threw herself into her job as a police civilian worker, but the attention her husband’s death brought took its toll and she ended up collapsing at work.

She says: “I think looking back I had never allowed myself to grieve properly.

“I’d thrown myself back into things, because I had a son and a job and it just became too much.

“David suggested going back to live in Norwich where I originally lived, so I went back.

“I was happy there and got myself a job.

“Then my grandchildren were born and I started to think about coming back to be near them and my son.”

Essex Police has been very supporting over the the past 25 years, Sue says.

On the anniversary of her husband’s death this year, Sue and Sgt Fairweather met Assistant Chief Constable Derek Benson and laid flowers at the police officers’ memorial.

Since the tragedy, Sue has been heavily involved with Michael Winner’s national Police Memorial Trust.

In 2005, she was invited to the unveiling of the National Police Memorial, in the Mall, in London, where she met the Queen.

She recalls: “Michael Winner called me over to meet the Queen, and she asked me what had happened to my husband.

“I told her and she said, ‘Oh Frinton. You don’t expect a thing like to happen in Frinton do you?’”

She also works for the support group, Cops (Care of Police Survivors), and this summer, went to the USA, where Cops started, for the charity’s 25th anniversary.

“I went to Washington because they were having a ball,” she says. “I thought since it was 25 years since I lost Brian, it was very fitting.”