Family statement on Anthony Grainger police shooting: Public Inquiry finds police operation breached Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Thursday 11 July 2019

Leslie Thomas QC, Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, represented the family, instructed by Farleys Solicitors. 

The Public Inquiry opened in January 2017 at Liverpool Crown Court into the fatal shooting of Anthony Grainger by Greater Manchester Police. The Public Inquiry report was published today, 11 July 2019. This is only the second time in England and Wales that a Public Inquiry has been set up to examine a fatal police shooting.

Anthony was shot dead on 3 March 2012 by a police officer as he was sitting in the driver’s seat of his car in a car park in Culcheth. He was unarmed. There were no guns in his car. He was shot at close range by an officer with a semi-automatic rifle.

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"This Inquiry has concluded that Anthony died as a result of a calamitous combination of errors and blunders by Greater Manchester Police (GMP). In finding that the police operation failed to satisfy Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights the Chairman effectively rules that Anthony was unlawfully killed by GMP. 

The damning report catalogues dishonesty and corruption at the highest level of GMP. Senior officers lied to the Inquiry. They provided evidence intended to mislead and to obscure the truth, and have reconstructed evidence to deflect personal criticism. They have displayed a cavalier approach to public safety. 

The failings extend to the very top of GMP with two Assistant Chief Constables criticised for giving misleading evidence. 

The Chairman describes serious inaccuracies in threat assessments, seriously misleading briefings of firearms officers, a fundamentally flawed tactical approach, and planning of the operation that was incompetent and dangerous. 

Anthony died because of these failings by GMP. Anthony’s family have referred the matter today to the CPS inviting criminal proceedings against at least 4 senior police officers. The IOPC will also be invited to investigate various officers with a view to disciplinary proceedings. Most importantly, the family will ask the CPS to consider bringing proceedings as a result of Anthony’s unlawful killing by GMP. 

Anthony’s family call for urgent root and branch reform of GMP generally and their firearms unit in particular, to avoid the public being put at risk. 

The family would like to thank HHJ Teague and his team for their thorough report and for their conduct of the Inquiry."

Statement from Marina Schofield, mother of Anthony Grainger:

“For over 7 years we have fought for justice for Anthony. It has been a long and emotional road to the truth.  As a family we have been shocked hearing of the dangerous levels of incompetence on the part of GMP, but the inquiry has revealed levels of staggering ineptitude way beyond what was expected in the intelligence, the operation and the post incident collusion.  We are therefore pleased with Chairman’s findings and that of unlawful killing and now welcome the involvement of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in considering criminal charges be brought against the officers responsible for Anthony’s death.

“Secondly, we want lessons to be learned. No mother should face that knock on the door and be told that the police have shot and killed her son. We were all left devastated by Anthony’s death and have gone through further hell to find out the true facts of what happened that night.  We only hope that this outcome serves as a lesson for GMP so that others do not have to go through what we have suffered”.

The legal team

Anthony’s family is represented by a legal team with extensive experience of similar cases:

Lead Counsel – Leslie Thomas QC, Garden Court Chambers, London

Junior Counsel – Adam Straw, Doughty Street Chambers, London                     

Solicitor – Jonathan Bridge, Farleys Solicitors LLP, Manchester

Litigation Executive – David Corrigan, Farleys Solicitors LLP, Manchester

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