The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped a case involving the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by Greater Manchester Police in Culceth, Cheshire in March 2012.
Father-of-two, Anthony Grainger, died from a shot to the chest after the car he was travelling in was stopped by armed police under a planned policing operation. Although the marksman who shot dead the 36 year-old man from Salford was not prosecuted, the force was charged under health and safety law.
The news provoked fury from Grainger’s family who immediately said there was “no justice in this country.” In a recent turn of events, health and safety charges against Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy were dropped by the CPS amid concern over sensitive information being aired in court. The CPS officially returned a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict and dropped the case amid concern about revealing sensitive information in court.
The family of Grainger are understandably angry at the decision. Speaking on their behalf, solicitor Jonathan Bridge said: “The family is hugely disappointed at the decision. They have waited three years for this trial and they now find they are no nearer to the truth. They simply want answers. This matter must now proceed to a public inquiry.”
Mr Wesley Ahmed, a cousin of Mr Grainger and head of the Justice4Grainger campaign said, “If the police are supposed to be open and honest, it’s not happened has it? The police are unaccountable. 1,500 people have died following police contact and only one conviction in 1969. You are more likely to get killed by a police officer than a terrorist in this country.”
The case which has seen protests in Manchester and London against what campaigners termed and condemned “immunity of the police from criminality,” has since had Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and GMP and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd defend the right of transparency in judicial inquiries.
“The family and the wider public deserve to know what took place during the police operation that led to Anthony Grainger’s death. We cannot have major matters of public policy being determined by health and safety legislation that was not drawn up with this kind of case in mind. I will be raising this directly with the Home Secretary,” Tony Lloyd commented after the trial’s end.
The news of Grainger’s case being dropped has prompted calls for a public inquiry, with one Twitter user commenting via the #Justice4Grainger: “Heard the news in the trial, all fixed to keep info away, corrupt beyond belief. Keep fighting though, has to be justice 1 day.”
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri
After the case’s collapse, GMP released a statement that mentioned that the force wishes to extend its sympathy to Anthony Grainger’s family. A CPS spokesman had said earlier:
“We have considered the rulings made by the Judge that there is material which needs to be disclosed in open court in order for the defendant to have a fair trial. After consulting with relevant parties, we have concluded that we are unable to reveal that material for public interest reasons. We are therefore unable to proceed.”
Grainger’s family are pursuing justice as they will be petitioning the Home Secretary Theresa May this week in regards to a public inquest into the evidence with the help of a jury. Although the CPS has ended the trial, the campaign for answers continues.
By Yasin Chinembiri