A RETIRED policeman who survived being shot and wounded by triple murderer Barry Prudom has died aged 64.

Ken Oliver, who had two daughters, Stephanie and Sarah, and twin granddaughters, Emily and Margaret, worked for North Yorkshire’s police force for three decades, and earned a commendation for bravery in the line of duty after he was targeted by gunman Prudom in June 1982.

Prudom sparked the biggest armed manhunt in British police history when he shot dead PC David Haigh in Washburn Valley, starting a 17-day reign of terror.

He shot Mr Oliver in the face after the policeman confronted him in Dalby Forest. A bullet passed across his nose and another went through his uniform, but he amazingly survived.

Tim Madgwick, North Yorkshire’s temporary deputy chief constable, yesterday paid tribute to Mr Oliver, saying he was “deeply saddened” to hear of his death.

T/DCC Madgwick said: “The exemplary courage he displayed during the hunt for Prudom was in the very finest traditions of British policing and should be an inspiration to us all.”

Outside policing, community-minded Mr Oliver managed the under-16s Throxenby Hall boys’ football team, taking them on to be the winners of the fair play league award.

He also took an interest in stewarding for Scarborough Football Club and played Santa for Mencap.

Friends and family spoke of Mr Oliver’s fun-loving approach to the world and his distinct sense of humour.

He enjoyed golf, breeding birds, woodwork and gardening.

It was Mr Oliver’s final wish to donate his body to medical research, so there will be no funeral. But his family are holding a memorial gathering at the Duchess pub in Hovingham Drive, Scarborough, from 2pm on Monday.

All friends are welcome to attend and are asked to wear something yellow. Donations can be made to St Catherine’s Hospice.

More than 800 police were involved in the manhunt to track down Prudom which began after he shot dead PC Haigh, who was delivering a summons to a poacher.

Prudom killed two more people before he was tracked down to a hideout near Old Malton, where he shot himself after being surrounded by armed police.