PC's Murder: Man To Be Extradited
A three-man armed gang shot the Hertfordshire PC at point-blank range in front of people doing their shopping and going to school....
A man who killed Hertfordshire Constabulary officer Frank Mason will be extradited to the UK after he serves a 30-year sentence in Ireland, it has been decided at Dublin’s High Court.
Perry Wharrie, 49, was part of an armed gang who killed off-duty officer PC Frank Mason in April 1988, in Hemel Hempstead. He and accomplices Charlie McGee and James Hurley had been holding up a Securicor van when Frank intervened and was shot. Wharrie was released early on licence in April 2005, having served 18 years of a life sentence, but fled the county and his Essex home while on parole the following January. He was then found by police again in Ireland during July 2007 when he was involved in a failed drug smuggling operation off the south west coast of Ireland.
PC Mason’s widow Jill said: “I feel I have suffered a life sentence because I still remember the day my husband was shot like yesterday. I never felt 17 years was long enough for his murder. However, I have always felt people deserve a second chance. But, because Wharrie breached his licence and was involved in crime on such a large scale, I felt it was important the UK pushed for his extradition at the end of his lengthy sentence.”
He is currently serving a sentence for the drug smuggling offences in Ireland and is expected to spend at least 22 years behind bars there. This means he will not be extradited until at least 2030.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Maghie said: “Perry Wharrie had no regard for the law. He had his second chance and ultimately threw that back in the face of everyone and got involved in drug importation on a scale that had never been seen in Ireland before. A three-man armed gang executed Frank at point-blank range in front of people doing their shopping and going to school. Life sentence for killing a police officer should mean life and, in this case, I think it will be life. Today’s result helps bring some closure to Frank’s family.”
Charlie McGee has since died in prison and James Hurley is in prison in The Hague. Hertfordshire Constabulary hope to extradite Hurley to the UK also after his current sentence.
Superintendent Steve Hughes, Western Deputy Area commander, said: “I knew Frank well, and officers and staff both still greatly feel his loss on the western area. We have set up the Frank Mason award in his memory which each year goes to an officer who has shown outstanding work and it is voted by staff.”
This is a good result. Hopefully Hurley, who was for a number of years, the UK's most wanted man, will follow suit, after what was a callous and brutal murder. Off-duty PC Mason tried to intervene during the robbery and was shot in the back as he attempted to arrest one of the suspects.