Fallen po­lice of­fi­cer re­mem­bered

Comment News (Armadale) - - Front Page - Ben Smith

“HE was fine, he was happy, we waved and he said ‘Bye mum, I love you’ – and that was the last thing he ever said to me.”

It has been 20 years since Con­sta­ble Peter Ball was killed while ar­rest­ing a sus­pected car thief in Can­ning­ton, but the pain still lingers for his mother.

A pass­ing ve­hi­cle struck the Gos­nells po­lice of­fi­cer as he re­strained one of the sus­pects and he died dur­ing surgery in the early hours of Au­gust 7, 1998.

Les­ley York still re­mem­bers her son’s last visit on the day he died, re­ceiv­ing the news he’d been in an ac­ci­dent and be­ing at the hos­pi­tal when he passed away.

“He was on the af­ter­noon shift and he came at lunch with his daugh­ter,” she said.

“I used to look af­ter her un­til his wife fin­ished work when he was on an af­ter­noon shift.

“He brought her here, he had lunch and then off he went and that was the last time I saw him.”

Time may have passed, but Mrs York said her son’s death would stay with her for­ever.

“It doesn’t go away. Never,” she said.

“You learn to live with it be­cause you have to, you get on with your life be­cause that’s what we have to do, but this time of the year is a hard time. He was my first­born and I’ll miss him un­til the day I die.”

Mrs York said her son was pas­sion­ate about his job and had a car­ing soul.

“I met an old Abo­rig­i­nal lady not long af­ter Peter was killed and she said ‘He was a good man. He brought my grand­son home one day, he was in trou­ble and he just brought him home’,” she said.

“That’s the kind of guy he was, he took the kid home in­stead of charg­ing him.”

Const Ball was firmly en­trenched in the lo­cal com­mu­nity, hav­ing at­tended Gos­nells High School and mov­ing into a house a cou­ple of streets away from the one he grew up in.

His mother said he was a fam­ily-ori­ented man who would of­ten pop in to say hello dur­ing shifts.

“He would pull up here if he was in the area with a po­lice car, and say ‘hi, what’s in the fridge’,” she said.

“He’d raid the fridge for him and his mate and off again he’d go.”

A re­mem­brance ser­vice was held at Gos­nells Po­lice Sta­tion on Tues­day to mark the 20th an­niver­sary of Const Ball’s death.

His widow Tracey and his 21-year-old daugh­ter Bri­anna, who was only 18 months old when he died, were among the at­ten­dees.

Con­sta­ble Peter Ball, who was killed in the line of duty 20 years ago.

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