Francis Joseph O’Neill QGM



25 October 1980






Police Constable



Metropolitan Police



Homicide - Stabbed

Duty Status


On Duty

Roll of Honour Citation

Fatally stabbed when he approached a male trying to fraudulently obtain prescription drugs. Posthumously awarded the Queen's Gallantry Medal.

PC Francis O’Neill and WPC Angela Seeds were on patrol in plain clothes when they were dispatched to a Boots chemist shop on Waterloo’s Lower Marsh where, a man from Wembley, was attempting to acquire drugs with a forged prescription.

Suspicions had initially been raised when the manager queried the doctor’s note because of how neat the handwriting was. The man was asked to come back in half an hour to collect the prescription.

When the man returned to collect his prescription PC O’Neill approached him and produced his warrant card, the male lashed out and stabbed the officer in the heart; he would later claim in court that he’d been hallucinating and mistook the PC O’Neill for a “big brown bear”.

PC O’Neill gave chase but collapsed to the pavement outside the store, a passing nurse administered first aid before PC O’Neill was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

WPC Seeds continued the pursuit, finally cornering the male on a platform at Lambeth North tube station. Initially the man produced the knife but dropped it and was arrested.

PC O’Neill was from Bellshill, Lanarkshire and originally joined the police in Glasgow in 1971 before moving to the Metropolitan Police 2 years later. He had four young children; two daughters and two sons.

Posthumously awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal.