ONE of the two police officers who arrested the notorious Black Panther, Donald Nielson, in 1975, Stuart McKenzie, was the speaker at a recent meeting of HUCKNALL AND DISTRICT UNIVERSITY OF THE THIRD AGE (U3A).
Nielson was an odd-job builder who wanted to join the SAS but instead became a burglar and robber. He dressed in black clothing and wore a balaclava. He was jailed for life on four counts of murder and died last year from motor neurone disease.
He kidnapped heiress Lesley Whittle and took her to a park where she was forced down a 90-foot shaft, secured with wire. He demanded a £50,000 ransom but Lesley was later found hanged in the shaft.
Stuart said he and his colleague saw a suspicious-looking walker who proved to be Nielson. He threatened the officers with a sawn-off shotgun and forced them to drive from Mansfield to Blidworth.
They managed to overpower Nielson but the gun was fired and both officers were injured. Stuart received the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for bravery and he told the members he was very proud of the award.
Stuart stressed that the medal represented many years spent by officers in the hunt for Nielson and it recognised the work of the police as a whole.
It was reported that new interest groups in the U3A covered board games, crafts, world history, walks and a new lunch group.