Greater Manchester Police prosecuted: Chief Sir Peter Fahy faces trial over Anthony Grainger death

By Marios Papaloizou

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy will be prosecuted over alleged safety breaches after unarmed Anthony Grainger was shot dead after his car was stopped in Chesire in 2012.

Mr Grainger, 36, was shot and killed when he was stopped in Culcheth, Chesire on March 3 2012.

The Crown Prosecution Service claim they have now found ‘sufficient evidence’ to prosecute GMP for a breach of the Health and Safety Work Act, with Sir Peter Fahy facing the charge.

The CPS allege that they can prove GMP failed to ‘ensure that unnecessary risk to the suspects was avoided’ and that there were ‘serious deficiencies’ in preparation for the operation.  

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “Since Mr Grainger’s death 22 months ago, Greater Manchester Police has co-operated fully with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the Crown Prosecution Service and HM Coroner.

“Our sympathies remain with Mr Grainger’s family and we deeply regret the loss that they have suffered. 

“Mr Grainger’s family, and the officers involved, have had to wait a long time for this decision to be reached and we share the frustrations over those delays. However, we understand that it was vitally important that the investigation was carried out thoroughly to establish all the facts. 

“Now that a charging decision has been made regarding the Force itself, it is equally important that these legal processes are allowed to take their course unimpeded in order to seek a resolution for both the family of Mr Grainger and the Force.”

Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: “After careful consideration we have decided that the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, should be prosecuted as a corporation sole for failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.”

In 2012 officers fearing a robbery was about to take place ambushed a parked red Audi 3 estate car Grainger was sat in with two other suspects.


In a statement, Grainger’s parents Marina and John Schofield said: ”Whilst we are pleased that some charges are to be brought as a result of Anthony’s death we are bitterly disappointed that the officer that shot Anthony will not face criminal proceedings.”

Their lawyer Jonathan Bridge, Partner at Farleys Solicitors added: ”Losing Anthony was a terrible blow to the family and the pain they have suffered has been massively intensified by the considerable delays in reaching today’s decision.

”We find it staggering that 22 months after the shooting the family know nothing more than on the day Anthony was shot.”

The father of two from Salford, Greater Manchester was hit at virtually point blank range with a bullet fired through the windscreen by a police issue Heckler Koch MP5 sub machine gun.

He died at the scene of his wounds. Two other men in the car were arrested and a third man was detained in Manchester.

All three were subsequently charged with plotting armed robbery but all were cleared of wrongdoing after it emerged none of the men in the car were armed.

The first hearing will take place on February 10 2014 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

If convicted the maximum sentence is an unlimited fine which would be picked up by the taxpayer.

Lawyers said there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to prosecute the armed officer who fired the fatal shot for gross negligence manslaughter or misconduct in public office. The force will also not be charged with corporate manslaughter.

Image courtesy of uni of Salford, with thanks

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