England

PC Ian Terry death: GMP officers face gross misconduct hearing

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe family of a Greater Manchester Police officer who was shot dead in a training exercise say justice for him is "unlikely".

Two Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers are to face a gross misconduct hearing over the death of a PC who was shot in a training exercise.

PC Ian Terry, 32, from Burnley, Lancashire, was killed in June 2008 during police firearms training.

An officer who fired the fatal shot and another who organised the training exercise face an internal GMP hearing.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said a third officer, who retired, will not face the hearing.

'So disappointing'

PC Terry's father Roy said: "It doesn't look likely that we will get justice for Ian, which is all we really wanted."

"[Ian] would be angry that the officers involved didn't have the nerve to come out and say 'well we've made a mess of this'," he added.

Image caption PC Terry was killed during firearms training at a disused warehouse in Newton Heath in Manchester

An independent investigation into the death was carried out by the IPCC.

IPCC Commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone said: "One officer is now outside of the misconduct system having chosen to retire. There is nothing the IPCC can do to stop the officer retiring."

Mr Dipple-Johnstone urged police to address situations where officers retired while investigations were under way.

GMP declined to comment.

No body armour

Greater Manchester's police and crime commissioner's office called for a "wholesale reform" of the police complaints process because disciplinary processes can be "unacceptably long".

Image caption PC Terry's widow Joanne said she felt "let down"

Mr Terry was carrying an unloaded handgun while playing the role of a criminal fleeing in a car during the exercise at a disused warehouse in Newton Heath in Manchester.

The father of two, who was not wearing body armour, was hit in the chest from a distance of about 30cm (12in) by a blank round of specialist ammunition not designed to kill.

His widow Joanne added: "It's been tough, the length of the investigation has made it worse.

"Ian loved his job. He was dedicated, he was an excellent officer. I just feel that he's been let down."

Unlawful killing

An inquest held in March 2010 found Mr Terry was unlawfully killed.

The inquest jury ruled there were failures in the planning, training and safety measures employed during the exercise.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution was brought after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said there was "insufficient evidence" to bring criminal charges relating to his death.

GMP was fined £166,666 and ordered to pay costs of £90,000 after admitting breaching health and safety legislation over the fatal shooting.

Two GMP firearms officers, who were not named, were charged with a breach of Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The section requires employees to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others.

One officer was found guilty and fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £500 at Manchester Crown Court. The other was cleared.

Both officers who were prosecuted had organised the training exercise and are the same officers involved in the gross misconduct investigation, the IPCC said.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites