A RESPECTED former police officer who spent three weeks in a coma is back fighting crime.

Graham Butlin served with North Wales Police across Flintshire and Wrexham for 25 years and suffered a brain aneurysm four years ago.

Now, as a volunteer with Flintshire Neighbourhood Watch Association, he is back helping to cut crime.

Graham, 61, of Rhydymwyn, near Mold, has been left partially paralysed and without speech but by putting together information packs warning residents about the dangers of crime he is providing invaluable help to his former colleagues.

Denise Edwards, chief executive of the county’s Neighbourhood Watch, said: “Like all volunteers the work Graham does is vital in combating and preventing crime.

“Once a week Graham is in this unit and he works really hard while he is here and he is contributing to keep Flintshire safe and free from crime.”

Both of Graham’s sons, Anthony and Michael, have followed in his footsteps and work for North Wales Police.

Janet, his wife of 39 years, said: “He loved the job. It is in his blood. Nothing was too much for him. He had a lot of colleagues who thought a lot of him.

“The aneurysm was devastating for the family, he was in hospital for six months.
He spent time at the stroke unit in St Asaph and they did a marvellous job, it is a top-class unit.

“He has been through the wars. He can still understand everything you’re saying which is a bonus.”

After retiring in 2005 Graham took on the role of anti-social behaviour officer for Flintshire Council.

Denise said: “He is such a happy character and has a lot to give. If you went onto the streets of Mold and you mentioned PC Graham Butlin they have respect and are proud to know him.

“He was an officer with traditional values. He was fair and didn’t stand any messing.

“When Graham came to our door to volunteer, we didn’t hesitate to say yes. His experience and knowledge is invaluable and so is his personality.”

Last year more than 35,000 volunteer hours were logged by people participating in Flintshire’s Neighbourhood Watch.