A well-respected former police inspector who helped solve the notorious “Black Panther” murder investigation in the 1970s, has died.
Tributes have been paid to Mr Ian Hartley, a well-known figure in the Ribble Valley, who passed away at Clitheroe Community Hospital aged 73.
Born and brought up in Baxenden, Ian joined the police force in 1965 at the age of 24 and his first posting as a fresh-faced bobby was to patrol the streets of Clitheroe.
He and his wife, Jean, and their two sons, were offered a police house in Pimlico Road, Clitheroe, and he decided to move to the Ribble Valley.
Ian quickly rose through the ranks of Lancashire Constabulary, becoming a sergeant and Clitheroe police inspector in the 1980s.
During his distinguished 30-year policing career he helped to solve high-profile cases, including the notorious “Black Panther” murder investigation in the 1970s, and was also the race relations officer in Nelson and Colne for a period.
Ian also spent a considerable time training new police officers at Bruche Police National Training Centre, Warrington. However, he often said the highlight of his career was working as a police inspector in Clitheroe.
A few years before he retired in 1996, Ian received a commendation for his bravery in disarming a hostage-taker who was wielding a gun inside a Clitheroe pub.
After retirement, he kept himself busy by working at Hutton and was later a part-time ambulance driver covering the Ribble Valley and Blackburn areas.
A keen golfer, he was a member of Whalley Golf Club for 50 years. He was a very keen gardener and spent the past 20 years living in Downham Road, Chatburn, having previously lived in Moor Edge, Whalley. He also enjoyed travelling to Spain.
Family and friends gathered to pay their respects at Ian’s funeral service on Tuesday, December 23rd, at Accrington Crematorium.
Ian is survived by his wife, his two sons, Steven (52) and David (50), grandchildren Sam (22), Alex (21) and 19-year-old, Will. He was also an honorary granddad to Katie and Vicky.