A SERVING police sergeant who saved a man from jumping to his death has been found hanged at his home.

Sergeant Craig Illingworth, 45, of Gisburn Road, Blacko, worked in the neighbourhood team in Rawtenstall, and had been an officer with the Lancashire Constabulary for 27 years.

Police and paramedics were called to his home on Wednesday, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out tomorrow, and an inquest is expected to open on Monday. However, police are not treating the death as suspicious.

Sgt Illingworth spent most of his career working in Pennine division, and in 2001 he hit the headlines after a daring rescue of a suicidal man who almost fell 45ft from a derelict former gym in Waterfoot.

He climbed across the roof in torrential rain to throw a rope round the man and pull him to safety, and told the Lancashire Telegraph afterwards: "I couldn't just stand there doing nothing - sometimes you just have to push the boat out."

In 1997, Sgt Illingworth was honoured with the prestigious Smith Cup for bravery after he disarmed a knife-wielding Burnley man who had threatened to kill himself and hurt his family.

Burnley councillor and former neighbour Darren Reynolds paid tribute to Sgt Illingworth, saying: "Craig and I shared many a Friday evening together with a bottle of wine, playing games and joking around. "He was an outspoken and very honest man. He told it the way he saw it.

"Yet he was always caring, compassionate and above all else, friendly. "He will be sorely missed."