TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Otley police inspector who has died at the age of 56.

Richard Coldwell was the Otley-based Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector for Outer North West Leeds for seven years. The father-of-two died suddenly on Friday, June 28 after becoming ill following a trip out with his wife, Cheryl.

Mr Coldwell had retired from West Yorkshire Police in 2015. Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter, Leeds District Commander, said: “The sudden and very sad news of Richard’s death such a short time after he retired has come as a real shock to everyone who knew him.

“We know his family will be feeling the loss of him more greatly than anyone, and our thoughts and condolences are with them. From speaking to those who worked with Richard, it is clear he was someone who was very well liked for the humour and energy he brought to the job along with a very practical, common-sense style of leadership.

“Richard spent the years before he retired as the neighbourhood policing team inspector for the Outer North West area where he was colloquially known as ‘The Sheriff of Otley’. It was a role he loved and one he excelled at.

“Outside of work, he was very active in his local village of Clifford where he helped organise its annual beer festival. Richard was a true team player and someone who could be relied on to tell it as it was. He will be very sadly missed.”

Tributes to Mr Coldwell were also paid by Otley Town Councillors at a committee meeting this week. His funeral will be held at Harrogate Crematorium on Friday, July 19.