An Australian tourist has shared a touching tribute to fallen PC Keith Palmer with UNILAD.
Andrew Thorogood, from the remote town of Alice Springs, in Australia’s Northern Territory, met Keith Palmer on a family visit to London last October and joked about taking the kind officer for an off-duty pint.
PC Palmer was guarding the entrance to the Houses of Parliament – as he did every day – when Andrew and his two young daughters stopped to ask for a photo with the police officer, who generously obliged.
Recounting their brief but ‘enjoyable’ meeting, Andrew told UNILAD:
Keith was just a genuinely nice bloke. We spoke about how different the weather is in London compared to Alice Springs and he said he would like to visit with his family one day. My daughters said that he should come to the NT and Alice Springs so that they could show how special a place it is.
I think I joked about buying him a pint when he finished work and he had little chuckle but politely declined. I only spoke with him for five minutes or so but it was enjoyable and my daughters thought he was really nice and good at his job…
I got the impression that he really enjoyed his job and talking to people. He was genuinely interested in our conversation. He seemed very professional and vigilant the entire time we were with him.
Andrew is one of many people around the world who has expressed ‘shock and disbelief’ when he heard about the attack, adding: “We are all still a bit that way now.”
Andrew discussed the moment he realised Keith had been killed, elaborating:
It sent a shiver down my spine. I had heard what had happened on the radio first thing in the morning and my daughter, Alexsandra, was asking me questions about it as I drove her to work.
It wasn’t until a couple of hours later when I saw the picture of Keith posted on the news that it hit me. After checking my phone straight away to be sure, I realised that it was Keith.
Andrew spoke of his daughters and the affection they felt for Keith, saying: “Both of them were upset at the news and are still trying to come to terms with the global reaction.”
Sending a message of support to the Palmers, Andrew said:
We are all just thinking of Keith’s family and wish them all the best in getting through this difficult time.
The Keith Palmer Fund, which will help support his family through this difficult time, has raised over £500,000 in one day and the Metropolitan Police have retired Keith’s shoulder number – 4157U – as a mark of respect.
Our thoughts are with his family, as we stand in solidarity against the act of hatred that took his life too soon.