THE CRUMLIN parents of the policewoman killed at the weekend have spoken of their devastation at losing their precious and beautiful daughter.
Mervyn and Dorothy Reynolds spoke of their pride at having such a wonderful daughter who was loved by all.
Dorothy also spoke of how touched they were by the many well wishers following her daughter’s untimely death.
Constable Reynolds, 27, was a back-seat passenger in the unmarked police car that was struck by a jeep in the early hours of Saturday morning. Two men have been charged in connection with her death.
Her mother said, “Like many other people who have lost loved ones they will know how we feel – we are devastated, we are devastated. We can’t believe it, really we still haven’t taken it in, we just really cannot believe it.”
Mrs Reynolds said the reaction of her daughter’s police colleagues had overwhelmed them.
“That’s possibly the biggest thing that I can’t take onboard in all that has happened – how much they love her,” she said.
“And I am so proud of her, and it’s just lovely. It’s just lovely because she’s my wee girl and our wee girl.”
Mr Reynolds remembered fondly his daughter’s infectious smile.
“I even look at the official police photograph that is being shown in the papers and I look at it and say ‘She is struggling, she wanted to smile, she couldn’t keep a face like that’.
“If you look at the photograph, the edges of the mouth are being held back, she wants to get that big cheesy grin out – that’s how I will remember her.”
Her father also recalled the awful moments when, in the middle of the night in Las Vegas, he received the terrible call from his daughter Debra, just hours before they were set to start their journey home.
“At 1.50am or thereabouts my mobile phone rang and I looked at it – private number – and I went ‘ignore’ because I thought it was some cold caller. I was thinking back, add on eight hours and it’s UK time, somebody is trying to sell me a time-share or something.
“I got two calls and then Dorothy’s phone rang – it was all private numbers.
“It was only when Debra’s name came up that I answered the phone. I was speaking, Dorothy was half asleep but the conversation was Debra says ‘Philippa’s dead’ and I goes, disbelief, I could not believe it.
“But she said: ‘Really, I didn’t want to tell you so soon, but we didn’t want you finding out on Facebook when you are travelling home’.
“At no stage in my part of the conversation did I say anything about Philippa’s death, it was all just ‘No, it can’t happen’, so when the conversation ended I then went over beside Dorothy and said ‘We have one less daughter’.”