PC charged with murder

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The Independent Online
For the first time, a police officer has been charged with murder for an offence allegedly committed while on duty. PC Patrick Hodgson, 48, a member of Scotland Yard's firearms unit, was charged with murdering David Ewin, 38, a suspected car thief who was shot earlier this year in south-west London.

The action, brought yesterday by the Crown Prosecution Service following a police inquiry. In previous cases where on-duty officers have been charged in connection with a death, officers have faced trial for manslaughter. Officers are allowed to use "reasonable force" in carrying out their work. The only police officers previously to be charged for murder were for domestic offences.

The shooting allegedly happened on 28 February when three officers in an armed response vehicle in the Barnes area spotted a Toyota car, that had been reportedly stolen.

In the incident that followed Mr Ewin, of Roehampton, south-west London, was shot twice in the chest. He underwent emergency surgery for stomach wounds but died in hospital on 16 March.

The decision to prosecute was taken by the Crown Prosecution Service after the shooting was investigated by a team of detectives from the Metropolitan Police's complaints investigation bureau, led by Det Supt Aidan Thorne and supervised by the Police Complaints Authority.

A report had been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service in early July. As is usual for an officer facing charges, the Police Federation will provide legal assistance.

PC Hodgson, who is single and based at Old Street, east London, was bailed to appear before Bow Street magistrates' court on 28 November.