A FORMER police officer who bravely endured years of illness following an injury while on duty has died at the age of 55.

According to his widow, David Elwyn James, who died at Stansty House Care Home in Wrexham, was never the same after the incident in his 30s when he was kicked in the hip by a prisoner.

There were further health complications later in his life which led to his retirement from North Wales Police in 1996.

After previously serving as a police cadet, Mr James, whose family live in Little Acton, joined the force in September, 1974.

During the course of his career he served at stations across the region including Llandudno, Holyhead Port, Barmouth, Bangor, Mold, Sandycroft and Wrexham.

His wife Carol, whom he married 31 years ago, said: “He was injured on duty years ago.

“It was an incident to do with a prisoner during an arrest.

“He eventually had to have a hip replacement and because he couldn’t walk they found him a job in an office.

“He served in the control room until he retired in June, 1996.

“Before that kick he was all right but after it he had years of illness.

“Three years ago he was diagnosed with a progressive neurological condition.

“Although it is a rare condition his father, who died 12 months ago, also had it.”

She added: “I gave up my job to nurse him but eventually I couldn’t look after him at home any more and he went into Stansty House in January.

“He was an easy-going man who got on with everyone.

“He was also a dedicated police officer who lived for the job.

“He preferred to stay as a constable because he didn’t want to go up the ranks and wanted to be involved with the public.”

The couple have two sons, Paul, 21, and 16-year-old Simon.

A funeral service for Mr James will be held at Pentrebychan Crematorium in Wrexham at noon today.

Donations are requested in lieu of flowers to Stansty House and Nightingale House Hospice.