Prosecutors urged to review gun training death

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was under mounting pressure last night to reopen the file on a police firearms expert who shot dead a fellow officer at point blank range. It came after an inquest jury returned a majority verdict of unlawful killing over the “cops and robbers” training exercise in which Pc Ian Terry died while playing the part of a criminal escaping from police in a suspect car.

The jury criticised Greater Manchester Police’s (GMP) firearms training unit which staged the scenario in a disused warehouse in 2008 finding evidence of systemic failure in the force’s preparation of the exercise which it said was “forseeably unsafe”. Pc Terry, 32, from Burnley, Lancashire, was killed by a colleague who was granted anonymity and known only as “Chris” during proceedings. In evidence the still-serving officer told the inquest that he had acted “instinctively” when he opened fire with a pump action shot gun loaded with specialist blank rounds normally used to burst vehicle tyres.

At the time of Pc Terry’s death the CPS said there was insufficient evidence to launch prosecutions against either the officer or the force. But yesterday the jury, which was asked to consider five questions over the handling of the exercise, decided that his life could have been saved if the appropriate precautions were in place.

Manchester coroner Nigel Meadows said he would be sending a copy of their findings and the inquest evidence to the CPS. “There are both national and local implications that should be taken into account for those who plan and take part in such exercises,” he said.

In a statement read outside court Mr Terry’s father Roy Terry described his son as “a devoted husband and loving father”. He accused the force of “complacency at all levels” and added: “We owe it to Ian to express our own disappointment at the conduct of a number of officers who Ian regarded as friends in their reluctance to accept any responsibility for their actions.” He said: “The officer with the shot gun ultimately caused Ian’s death but we firmly believe there were many fingers on the trigger.”

Much of the five-week inquest was heard in secret after GMP argued that an open hearing could endanger its officers. In evidence “Chris” admitted he had broken the “golden rule” by releasing the safety catch on his shotgun.

GMP Chief Constable Peter Fahy issued a personal apology to Pc Terry’s family. He said: “I accept that some of our systems and practices were inappropriate and did play a part in Ian’s death.” He said that since the tragedy changes had been made but that firearms training would continue.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation is still to be held and the results of an Independent Police Complaints Commission inquiry will not be published until all other investigations are concluded.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering