Saturday, October 1, 2022
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Tributes paid after death of Grays police officer

TRIBUTES have been paid to a serving Essex Police officer who was found dead in Cornwall on Tuesday, February 24.

Craig Pledger, 28, was found dead at Stithians Dam in Stithians village on Tuesday afternoon. His death is not being treated as suspicious.

His family said the following: "Craig Pledger was a 28-year-old police officer serving with Essex Police and was staying with his family at his parent’s home in Stithians, the Cornish village where he grew up. Craig was a very popular and well-known member of the community, having attended the village school and played rugby and cricket for Stithians since he was seventeen.

"Craig had been battling against severe depression for a long time, sadly losing his life on Tuesday, February 24, at the hands of this illness. Whilst outwardly, Craig was always known for his kindness, time for others, broad smile and sense of fun, there was a sadness behind his smile that he tried to manage on his own, so many – including his family and close friends – did not know the depths of his depression or the complexity of his mental illness.

"His family would like to thank everyone for their kindness, concern and support, and especially those who helped in the search for Craig. We also wish Craig had been able to fully comprehend just how deeply he was loved by so many.

"He was a loyal friend, a loving son, a caring brother and a doting father. He leaves behind a three-year-old daughter and was at his happiest when with his daughter, or playing rugby, or in the pub with his mates; this is how his family hope that he will be remembered.

"The family would like to be left to grieve in peace at this time.”

Essex Police Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: "Craig Pledger was a very popular and respected young officer who joined Essex Police in 2008. Craig served the public in Southend and latterly in Grays, in a variety of local policing roles. He was also a keen and active member of the Essex Police rugby team.

"I was deeply shocked and saddened to learn of Craig’s death and my heart goes out to his family and friends. In conjunction with Devon and Cornwall Police we are providing specialist support to Craig’s family and to his colleagues at this sad and difficult time. Pc Pledger was a valued member of Essex Police and will be greatly missed.”

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