A LOVED and trusted former Police community support officer has died after a difficult battle with cancer.

Joseph Leeds, 57, from Trowbridge, died at his family home in West Ashton on October 18 with his family by his side.

Mr Leeds served as a PCSO in Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge for a total of 15 years and became very popular and well known in the community.

Three and a half years ago he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer, and faced a difficult battle.

Born and raised in Corby in Northamptonshire, Mr Leeds joined the army as a young teenager and served for 24 years in Ireland, Germany and the Caribbean.

Whilst serving in the Caribbean he met and married the mother of his grown up children, Amy and Adrian.

Many years after being on his own, Mr Leeds met his partner of four years Lizzie Board, of antique store King Street Curios in Melksham, when they both tried to reverse into the same car parking space at a function at The Bear in Devizes. 

Retiring from service a year later, he moved to Trowbridge and became a PCSO.

Mrs Board said: "Joseph was a lovely man, and he was so fit and active. He was the boxing champion in the army.

"He loved his holidays and travelling, we went on a cruise to the other side of the world."

"Joseph did have a very hard battle, he was even taken to London for a drug trial and was the first person in the country to have the medication.

"The Dorothy House nurses have been absolute angels, to both me and Joseph towards the end and I can't thank them enough."

Mr Leeds family came to Wiltshire from their homes in Corby to say their goodbyes to a loved father, brother and son.

Mrs Board and the family plans to hold his funeral in Corby, and any donations can be made in Mr Leeds' name to Dorothy House.