ONE of Huddersfield's best-known bobbies has retired.

Sgt Tim O'Sullivan has most recently been the press liaison officer in Huddersfield and his face has become a familiar sight to Examiner readers.

He has spent all his 30 years' service in the town and is well respected.

"I have never underestimated the vital importance of local knowledge," he said.

"I've always dealt with people as I would expect them to deal with me and that philosophy has stood me in good stead over the last three decades.

"Now people who I have helped to put in prison come up to me in pubs and buy me a drink. Some have even thanked me.

"I don't feel I've made any enemies."

Huddersfield-born Tim has lived in Newsome all his life.

His father, Michael, had an Irish dance band which was well-known in the town. He died in the late 1980s.

Tim's mother, Maureen, and his large extended family live in the town.

Tim, a member of St Joseph's Catholic Church in Aspley, has been married to Marion for 29 years and the couple have a 25-year-old daughter, Louise, and a son, Daniel, 23.

He loves his family deeply and said: "Marion has been an angel for putting up with me, looking after me and guiding me over the years and producing two beautiful children."

He added: "Family is very important to me and I think the breakdown of the family has a lot to do with what is wrong in society today."

Tim attended the former Saint Augustine's Roman Catholic School at Bradley Bar - now All Saints - and joined the police in March 1975.

He wanted excitement - and he got it, along with several injuries which eventually forced him off the beat.

He has had seven operations from injuries he picked up, suffering a broken nose and a perforated eardrum breaking up a mass brawl in Huddersfield town centre in the late 1970s. His knee was damaged when violence erupted after the Hull v Leeds rugby league Challenge Cup semi-final at the McAlpine Stadium in March 2000.

This injury ended his outdoor work and he moved to desk jobs, setting up a call-handling unit at Huddersfield police station and then moving to the intelligence department, collating information and drawing up plans to target known criminals.

In May 2003 while walking home late at night he tackled a suspected burglar he found lurking in a garden in Newsome, suffering elbow and shoulder injuries which both needed surgery.

Between 1980 and 1982 Tim was in Huddersfield Vice Squad, targeting paedophiles who preyed on children - especially teenage boys - and pimps who beat up women and forced them into prostitution.

He was in Huddersfield CID from 1982 to 1990 and played a crucial role in one of the town's most notorious murder cases.

An 18-year-old woman, Sharifan Bibi, and her lover, 44-year-old Hasmat Ali, disappeared in 1988.

Even though no bodies were ever found, detectives solved the case and in 1991 Sharifan's two brothers, Abdul Haq and Mohammed Saleem, were convicted of the so-called family "honour" killings and are both still serving life sentences.

Police believe the bodies were cut up and burned in the cellar of a house in Crosland Road, Thornton Lodge.

Tim arrested the brothers and also interviewed them.

He said: "There was a magnificent team working on this case and they never gave up. We never had any breaks. It was a painstaking investigation and one of Huddersfield CID's finest jobs."

Tim received a Chief Constable's commendation for this.

He has received three other commendations, including one from a judge for his investigation into a paedophile ring in 1983.

He received a certificate of merit for a major investigation in the Wakefield area which led to many convictions for serious crimes ranging from murder to forgery and was commended by Huddersfield's police commander for saving the life of a man threatening to jump to his death from flats in Berry Brow in 1999.

Tim was promoted to sergeant in 1990 and went back into uniform in Holmfirth and Slaithwaite.

In 1993 he returned to Huddersfield CID as a detective sergeant and worked there until 1996 when he returned to patrol duties in Huddersfield town centre.

He has gone down in police folklore for something that happened at Huddersfield Giants' first ever Super League game against Hull in 1998.

When Huddersfield scored their first ever Super League try he couldn't hide his delight and was caught on camera celebrating.

"Every time after that the police commander in charge of games always urged his officers not to show their emotions," said Tim.

"He said:`Don't do a Tim O'Sullivan'."