Pathologist given false details over Menezes death, inquest told

A pathologist was misled during a police briefing into believing Jean Charles de Menezes "vaulted" over a ticket barrier before he was shot dead, an inquest heard today.

















Dr Kenneth Shorrock, who carried out post-mortem examinations after Mr de Menezes was killed, wrongly recorded in his notes that the Brazilian jumped over a barrier before "stumbling" down an escalator in the moments before officers opened fire.



He said he was given the false information during a "walk-through" with officers at Stockwell Tube station, south London, in the hours after the shooting.



When asked why there were "significant errors" in his initial report, he replied: "This was what was told to me.



"What happened at that time was that there were a lot of officers present and we were taken through.



"I did not write anything down. I did not make any note of who told me what - but, at the next opportunity that I had, I got my Dictaphone."



He told a jury at the Oval cricket ground, south London, that "it was a long day" but rejected suggestions he was influenced by media reports, insisting he had made the notes before he had seen any news items.



Police marksmen shot Mr de Menezes seven times in the head at point-blank range on a train carriage on July 22 2005.



He had been mistaken for one of the terrorists behind the previous day's failed suicide attacks on the capital.



Dr Shorrock was speaking before retired Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick said the operation's designated leader, Cressida Dick, should only have been concerned with ordering a critical shot at Mr de Menezes.



The inquest has heard how Ms Dick, now Mr Paddick's successor as Deputy Assistant Commissioner, made a series of orders as surveillance officers followed the innocent Brazilian through south London.



But Mr Paddick, who unsuccessfully ran for election as the Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor in May, said the officer in charge of the control room should only deal with the decision to open fire.



He said: "My understanding of the role of the DSO (designated senior officer) is to make decisions around when officers are confronted by a suicide bomber who is suspected of being about to detonate a device.



"That officer is designated only to deal with the critical shot decision."



The retired police chief also said, under Scotland Yard policy, officers should warn suspects before opening fire if they were not convinced that they were a terrorist.



He added: "If, having been authorised to take the critical shot, the firearms officers have some doubt, there's an extra bit of information that clearly the DSO has not had, who's not there on the scene, then the firearms officers should give a warning and then respond to the suspect on the basis of how the suspect responds to that warning."



Dr Shorrock told the inquest Mr De Menezes would not have survived any of four bullet wounds to his brain.



He later told how he was not sure who told him Mr de Menezes had "vaulted" the barrier before he was shot.



He said he "cannot recall" if other interested parties were at the station during the walk-through.



Michael Mansfield QC, for the de Menezes family, asked him whether all information had to come from the senior investigating officer.



Dr Shorrock added: "I cannot recall whether it all came down from him or whether it came from others but was agreed by him or what it was."



Yesterday a jury heard how the train driver fled into a tunnel as police shot dead the innocent Brazilian because he believed firearms officers were terrorist "fanatics".









Mr Paddick told the inquest Ms Dick's order to "arrest him, but whatever you do, don't let him get on the Tube" was ambiguous.

Michael Mansfield QC, representing the De Menezes family, said firearms officers interpreted it as "he must be stopped before he gets on the Tube."



The retired senior officer said: "I think in the scenario that we had, where you have got a DSO, you have got officers with unusual ammunition, you have got a suspected suicide bomber, that order is ambiguous and it could mean one or two things depending on your frame of mind as to how you interpret it."



He also said that Commander Jim Carter showed him clear surveillance photos of failed bomber Hussain Osman on July 23.



These were much better quality than the CCTV stills released to the press the previous day, he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'