Retiring court guard reveals Gunpowder Plot connection
Former Sittingbourne policeman Peter Simmons has used his
sleuthing skills to look into his family’s history – and discovered
a skeleton in a cupboard.
One of his wife Carol’s ancestors was a co-conspirator with Guy
Fawkes trying to blow up Parliament more than 400 years ago.
But the only plot the 70-year-old grandfather is now interested
in is in his back garden where he grows his vegetables and
Peter has just retired from his security post at Canterbury
Crown Court after receiving the thanks, good wishes and presents
from judges, barristers and court staff.
One senior judge quipped: “After hearing that one of Carol’s
ancestors was a co-conspirator with Guy Fawkes, it is all the more
appropriate that Peter became involved in law enforcement.”
Peter was a former special constable who joined the police in
1968 and worked as a rural beat bobby around Sittingbourne for nine
The dad-of-three, who has been a guard at Canterbury since the
combined courts opened in April 1995, said: “One of my hobbies is
genealogy which I got interested in following the death of my
Peter has been married for 46 years and the couple live in
Northwood Drive, Sittingbourne.
He joined Kent’s newly-formed inquiry and custody section in the
1980s travelling all over the world collecting prisoners including
bringing a murder suspect home from Australia.
In 1992, he retired from the force after 24 years and two
Canterbury’s senior judge judge Adele Williams praised him for
his day-to-day dealings with visitors to the courts.
She said: “Security staff at this court have to be diplomats,
social workers and when necessary employ strong-arm tactics.
“He has shown himself on all occasions more than capable of
dealing with everything that was thrown at him.”
Peter said: “I am looking forward to spending more time
gardening and tackling some DIY projects at the home where we have
lived for more than 20 years. I am also lucky that my children and
grandchildren live nearby.”
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