TRIBUTES have been paid to the police officer who died at home while self-isolating with symptoms of coronavirus.

Dorset Police sergeant, Ian Woodward, who was 56 years old, died at his home just before 10am on Monday, March 30.

He had been unwell since Christmas and had been off work sick since March 19. He went into self-isolation following guidance from the NHS.

The Force has been working with HM Coroner and the NHS to establish whether Ian died as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus). A test has since come back negative. His cause of death will now be a matter for HM Coroner.

Dorset Police’s chief constable James Vaughan said: “We are all devastated to have lost a member of our police family. Our thoughts remain with his family, friends and very many colleagues at this extremely difficult time.

“Ian had been a police officer for almost 28 years. He joined the Metropolitan Police Service in October 1992 and undertook a role as a response officer in Fulham before he joined the Territorial Support Group. He transferred to Dorset Police in September 2001 as a patrol officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 2004 before taking on the role of custody sergeant.

“As a person Ian was a consummate professional and very popular officer. He knew his work inside out and was always there for his colleagues, providing advice and support when needed. He had a fantastic sense of humour and will be sorely missed.”

In a statement, Ian’s family and loved ones said: “Beyond doubt Ian was dedicated and committed to his job and his responsibilities as a police officer. He was truly loved and will forever be in our hearts and minds. He was taken well before his time. He will be sorely missed and will leave a huge gap in our lives, particularly those of his daughters whom he leaves behind.”