London

Met officer suspended as 'song lyrics' claims checked

Mark Saunders
Image caption Mark Saunders was not allowed to speak to his wife

A Metropolitan Police firearms officer has been suspended while an inquiry considers claims he included song lyrics in his testimony at an inquest.

The officer, known only as "AZ8", gave evidence to the inquest into the shooting of barrister Mark Saunders in an armed siege in west London in 2008.

The officer is accused of littering his testimony with song titles by acts such as George Michael and Duran Duran.

Mr Saunders, 32, died after he fired shots from his home in Chelsea.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is leading the investigation.

'Enough is enough'

The officer was reprimanded when evidence of his actions emerged during the inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court, which came to a conclusion on 7 October when a jury ruled Mr Saunders' death was lawful.

A spokesman for the Met said: "On 28 October, 2010, the matter came to the attention of senior officers who felt a reprimand was insufficient.

"The Metropolitan Police Service takes this matter extremely seriously as we expect the highest standards of all of our staff."

The IPCC said it would now manage a further police inquiry into what effect this had on the officer's testimony, on proceedings overall and how the Metropolitan Police dealt with it.

AZ8 used the phrases "point of no return", which is also the title of a song by Duran Duran, and "line of fire", the name of a song recorded by rock band Journey.

He also said "first time", the title of a 1988 number one by Robin Beck, "enough is enough", the subtitle of hit single No More Tears by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, and "you have got to have faith", a line from the chorus of Faith, a George Michael hit from 1987.

But the IPCC said it would not confirm if it was looking into specific phrases as part of its investigation.

The matter was referred to the IPCC on 29 October, a month after the officer gave evidence under oath.

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