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March 7, 2012

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Police force and two officers to face charges over constable training death


The HSE has announced it is to prosecute Greater Manchester Police and two of its officers over the death of a constable who was shot in a training exercise in 2008.

Following the Crown Prosecution Service conclusion earlier this week that there is insufficient evidence for it to bring criminal charges, the HSE decided it is in the public interest to prosecute the force and two of its training staff for alleged criminal offences under the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974.

Ian Terry, 32, from Burnley, was shot and killed during a refresher training exercise involving the use of firearms at a disused warehouse in Newton Heath, Manchester on 9 June 2008. An inquest in 2010 ruled that he was “unlawfully killed”.

Summonses will be served on:

  • Greater Manchester Police – for an alleged breach of section 2 of the HSWA 1974;
  • The exercising conducting officer, who was responsible for running the 9 June course – for an alleged breach of section 7 of the HSWA 1974; and
  • One of the exercise safety officers, who assisted the lead officer in running the course – for an alleged breach of section 7 of the HSWA 1974.

Garry Shewan, Assistant Chief Constable of GMP, said: “Since Ian’s death we have made a number of changes to the way in which we train officers to ensure that all firearm training exercises are carried out in the safest possible way by reinforcing procedures and existing policies.”

He added that eight officers had misconduct matters pending but emphasised that the GMP “cannot make a decision as to when these matters will be dealt with until we have seen the full disclosure files from the HSE for this case”.

In September 2009, Thames Valley Police and one of its officers were prosecuted by the HSE after a worker was accidentally shot during a firearms training exercise. The force was fined £40,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of s3(1) of the HSWA 1974, while firearms instructor PC David Micklethwaite was fined £8000 after pleading guilty to breaching s7 of the same Act.


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12 years ago

I agree with Ray R entirely. It is a travesty that it has taken so long to bring this to trial. Guilty or not, no one should to have this hanging over them for four years.

12 years ago

Once again I fail to understand why it has taken four years to prosecute, especially given that the inquest was held in 2010 which is the normal excuse for such a delay. I am not entirely happy with the officers involved being charged with h&s offences – it seems a soft option. Not as soft as the De Menezies case – granted.