I AM still in a state of shock about the death of Taunton police chief superintendent Sandy Padgett.

She was 41, energetic and seemingly completely healthy. It is almost incomprehensible that she should die so suddenly, of natural causes, leaving behind a husband and young children.

Sandy knew hundreds of people in Taunton Deane. I have been struck by how well connected she was to organisations like local schools, the fire service and community groups.

The situation is just so sad and the grief of her family is hard to imagine.

I suppose I have two thoughts following Sandy’s death, one personal and one professional.

The first is that she was a lovely person who brought a lot of good to very many lives. She was only two years older than me, and her death shows that nothing in life is certain, and we should all try and do the best we can in the limited time available to us.

The second is that her model of policing is, in my view, right for Taunton Deane. She was very hands-on, a thoughtful and imaginative police officer, who put a strong emphasis on community relations and tackling crime at grassroots level.

Sandy’s funeral is next week. I still cannot believe that she will not walk around the corner. It is all unreal and utterly tragic.