Ken survived a murderer’s shots

Ken Oliver
Ken Oliver

A LONG-SERVING police officer from Scarborough who survived after being shot by gunman Barry Prudom during one of Britain’s biggest manhunts has died aged 64.

Ken Oliver was a North Yorkshire police officer for 30 years, earning his long service medal, along with a commendation for bravery in the line of duty.

Due to his final wish to donate his body to medical research there will be no funeral, but his family is holding a memorial gathering at the Duchess pub in Hovingham Drive from 2pm on Monday.

A father-of-two, he hit the headlines in 1982 when he was shot in Dalby Forest during the hunt for double police killer Prudom.

He was lucky to survive when a bullet fired by Prudhom grazed his nose and another passed through his uniform, but returned to duty later that year.

Mr Oliver had a keen interest in the community, and managed the under 16s Throxenby Hall boys’ football team, with the support and sponsorship of Coastal Security, taking them on to be the winners of the fair play league award. He also took an interest in stewarding for Scarborough Football Club and played Santa for Mencap.

Away from his role in the community, throughout everything he maintained his fun-loving approach to the world, sharing a distinct sense of humour, captivating anyone with his storytelling nature. He also enjoyed the occasional round of golf, breeding birds, woodwork and gardening.

A dedicated family man, he leaves two daughters, Stephanie and Sarah, and twin granddaughters, Emily and Margaret.

All friends, new and old, wishing to celebrate his life are welcome to attend his memorial, and are asked to wear something yellow.

People are asked to make any donations to St Catherine’s Hospice, to help them continue their work.

l More than 800 police were involved in the manhunt to track down killer Barry Prudom in the summer of 1982.

His 17-day reign of terror caused panic in the Malton and Scarborough areas and left streets almost deserted but for national newspaper reporters.

The drama began after Prudom shot dead a policeman on a country road near Harrogate and an electrician in a Nottinghamshire village.

The hunt switched to the Scarborough area when Prudom shot at Mr Oliver in Dalby Forest. More than 400 officers surrounded the forest but Prudom escaped and within hours had killed again.

Malton Sgt David Winter saw Prudom and attempted to escape but he was gunned down and died on the spot in Old Malton.

Police called in an expert tracker but it later emerged Prudom had been holding a family hostage only 150 yards from Malton police station.

He eventually left the house and was gunned down near Malton Tennis Bowls and Squash Club.

However, in a final irony, it emerged he had shot himself first.