Church packed for funeral of top detective

Det. Supt. Paul Buschini.
Det. Supt. Paul Buschini.

THE funeral has taken place of a former Fleetwood police detective who worked on some of the most famous cases in Blackpool.

Paul Buschini – who headed up Blackpool’s Force Major Investigation unit – died aged 55 on February 9 after battling cancer.

After the funeral, which took place at St Wulstan’s RC Church on Friday last week, Mr Buschini’s sister paid heartfelt thanks to those who came to the church to pay their respects.

The church was so packed that there was not enough room for all the mourners to get into the building, and several roads had to be blocked off as the procession then made its way to Fleetwood Cemetery. Former colleagues formed a guard of honour outside the church.

Mr Buschini’s sister, Helen Dingle, told the Weekly News: “On behalf of the family, I would like to thank all those people who attended Paul’s funeral.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of people. Some of then had to stand outside the church. My brother was a very private man, even though his job meant that he sometimes had a high profile, but he would have been very touched that so many people wanted to pay their respects.”

The funeral service was led by St Wulstan’s parish priest, Canon Alf Hayes.

A touching eulogy was given by former police colleague, ex-officer Andy Johnson, and Helen spoke on behalf of the family.

Mr Buschini was a life member of Fleetwood RUFC, and played as a prop for the club in the 1970s and ‘80s, and was also a regular on the pitch for Lancashire Police’s team.

As one of the force’s most senior detectives, Det Supt Buschini investigated some of the resort’s most high profile murders. He was the lead investigating officer when Blackpool teenager Charlene Downes disappeared in 2003 – a missing person inquiry which later became a murder hunt. And in 1997 he took the lead when the headless body of teenager Christopher Hartley was found in the resort. Psychopath Stuart Diamond was jailed for life for Mr Hartley’s murder in 1999.

Mr Buschini came from a well-known Fleetwood family. He was related to a legendary fishing dynasty which included several top skippers. A former pupil at St Wulstan’s RC Primary School, he attended St Joseph’s in Blackpool and left school at 16 to pursue a career in the police, where he excelled. After leaving the force in 2006, Mr Buschini served as a police advisor to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago before joining Dublin’s Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission as director of investigations.

He leaves his parents Anthony and Sadie Buschini, siblings Mark, Helen and Anthony, four children, eight grandchildren and partner, Therese.