UK & World News

  • 16 January 2014, 20:00

Anthony Grainger Death: Police Chief Charged

The chief constable of one of the UK's biggest police forces is to face a charge over the shooting of an unarmed odd-job man.

Sir Peter Fahy, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), is accused of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act over the shooting of Anthony Grainger in March 2012.

He has a legal status that means he is a representative ofGMPbut does not share criminal liability.

The 36-year-old was shot by aGMPmarksman after his car was stopped as part of a planned operation inCulcheth, Cheshire.

He was unarmed and there were no weapons in the car.

The father-of-two's family has criticised prosecutors' decision not to charge the marksman who took the fatal shot.

His cousin Wesley Ahmed, 45, said the family would consider bringing a private prosecution against the officer who fired the fatal shot, and possibly those who led the operation.

"I expected this, you can't get justice in this country, you've got no chance," Mr Ahmed said.

"I have been campaigning all over the country and none of the other deaths in custody families have managed to get justice.

"It's set for the police to be immune from prosecution. They have no accountability when it comes to a death in custody. If it was fraud, they would go to prison straightaway.

"People have been fighting for 20-odd years, you can't win. I thought Anthony's case might be the first one to crack the mould because they shot and killed an unarmed man.

"Now we'll look at a private prosecution."

The Crown Prosecution Service decided the marksman who killed Mr Grainger should not face charges for murder or manslaughter because a jury would be likely to accept that he believed his actions were necessary.

"In the circumstances of this case, our assessment of the evidence is that a jury would accept that the officer did believe his actions were necessary and that the level of force used in response to the threat as he perceived it to be was proportionate," it said.

Westminster Magistrates' Court will host the first hearing for the health and safety charge on February 10. If the force is convicted, it could face an unlimited fine.

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