A SEPTUAGENARIAN who has spent more than 50 years as a special constable keeps himself trim – by running marathons.

Malmesbury and Royal Wootton Bassett officer Richard Warren joined the police in 1967, serving near his home in Yeovil. When he moved north to Wiltshire in 1980, the 74-year-old officer and IT professional transferred to the county force.

On Tuesday night, he added another bar to his police long service medal. But despite 52 years in uniform, he shows no sign of stopping. In the last five years he has run four London Marathons – this year completing the course in a little over seven hours.

While he has made countless arrests, Richard says the incident that sticks in the memory is the rescue of a drunk from the arm of a bench outside a pub in Box, near Corsham.

The landlord had called police, saying there was someone moaning outside the boozer but they did not dare go out and check on him.

“There was a chap lying with his head in the arm of the bench,” said Richard. Every time he moved his head he’d bang it. He’d obviously been drinking.”

It took Richard and a regular constable no little elbow grease to get the man out of the bench. Then, disaster struck: “He put his arm in and went straight back into the bench again.”

The two officers were forced to repeat the whole procedure a second time.