This is tragic policewoman Fiona Bone on the day she graduated from university in Preston.
The 32-year-old, who was one of two unarmed women police officers killed in a gun and grenade attack in Greater Manchester, studied at the University of Central Lancashire for three years until graduating in 2002 after completing a media studies degree and was remembered with fondness by staff there today.
A spokesman for the University of Central Lancashire said: “Staff and students across the University are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Fiona graduated with a Combined Honours degree in AV Media and Film Studies in 2002 and was a highly talented and highly regarded student.
“She was also a very popular member of the UCLan rugby team. Fiona will be greatly missed by all who knew her and our sympathies go out to her family at this awful time.”
Linda Sever, Course Leader Film Production (Combined Honours), taught Fiona for three years.
She said: “Fiona was always a funny and lively student. She was a creative film maker who made some really interesting social issues based films.
“She was always regaling us with her rugby stories and often showing us her rugby injuries! Fiona was also Audio Visual Media course rep and represented her fellow students enthusiastically and diligently.
“I kept in contact with her for some time after she left UCLan and used to received detailed e-mails about what she was up to back in the Isle of Man. She was always inviting me over, but was always saying how much she missed Preston and her friends and wanted to return.
“I will miss her and her positive vibrant outlook on life. She was a lovely person.”
Fiona and colleague PC Nicola Hughes, 23, died in a hail of bullets as they responded to a report of a burglary at a house on the Hattersley estate in Tameside.
Just minutes after the attack, one of Britain’s most wanted men, Dale Cregan, presented himself at nearby Hyde police station.
Police had been hunting Cregan for several weeks in connection with the murder of father David and son Mark Short of Clayton, Manchester. David Short died in a gun and hand grenade attack at his home in August, Mark was killed in the Cotton Tree pub in Droylsden in May.
Fiona’s father Paul Bone spoke from the family home in Port St Mary, Isle of Man. He said: “We’re shocked, just numb. We heard on the BBC news that two police officers had been shot and within three minutes of the news two policemen were at the door. That’s when we heard – at 1.03pm.”
He described his daughter as hugely adventurous. “She was calm and collected, nice to be around. We will miss her so much.”
Fiona attended the sixth form at Castle Rushen High School when the family moved to the island. After completing her A Levels, she studied Film and Media Studies at UClan. She went back to the island before getting a job with Direct Line in Manchester. It was then she joined the Special Constabulary before becoming a full-time serving officer with Greater Manchester Police.
A close friend, Paula Cohen from Denton, Manchester, studied with Fiona in Preston. She told reporters: “She was a happy person. She was always trying to make people laugh and would do anything for you. I can’t believe this has happened.”
Fiona had been planning her wedding and had spoken to colleagues about her plans and invitations just hours before she was killed.