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Tributes paid to Richmond's answer to Gene Hunt
7:00am Saturday 6th October 2012 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid to a former top detective, whose style solving murders in the 1970s has seen him likened to Life On Mars character Gene Hunt.
Ex-detective superintendent Harry Thomson, who died on Monday aged 84, became renowned for always getting his man as he led investigations during his 30- year career with North Yorkshire Police.
Even those arrested by Mr Thomson, who served at Richmond police station for decades, held him in high esteem.
Daughter Lorraine Sievers said: “Dad was just like the character Gene Hunt from Life on Mars. He did not stand for any nonsense and was a large, intimidating presence.
“He called a spade a spade, but he had a heart of gold,”
“Even people he had arrested would come up to him in the street or the pub years later to speak to him – he was a very well-known character in Richmond, and across the country because he was highly respected within the police force.”
Mr Thomson, who was born in East Yorkshire, joined the police in the 1950s before settling in the Richmond area.
Mrs Sievers said: “He was involved in too many murder investigations to remember – but he always solved them.
“One involved a family from Manchester who murdered their father and buried him on moors – about 100 yards from the welcome to North Yorkshire sign.
“He joked that it was very close to not being his problem to deal with.”
After retiring, Mr Thomson opened Richmond Antiques, in Bargate, which saw him appear on television as an expert many times.
Mrs Sievers said: “People would go in just to be insulted by him. He was known for his banter and falling out with friends, but it was never serious.”
Former detective chief superintendent Strickland Carter, who served alongside Mr Thomson, said: “He was a first class detective and had a wicked sense of humour.
“I would pop into his antique shop from time to time – he was an expert in clocks and firearms and was very knowledgeable.”
A service for Mr Thomson will be held at 3.15pm at Darlington Crematorium on Wednesday, followed by drinks at the Talbot Hotel, in Richmond, at 5pm.
He leaves his wife Peggy, daughter Lorraine, son-in-law Chris, and grandchildren Tait and Soren Sievers.