Friday, 8 October 2010


I have read and heard several times in the media today that the inquest jury hearing the Mark Saunders case 'found' that his killing was lawful.  They fail to say that HM Coroner did not leave a verdict of unlawful killing to the jury and therefore in essence the Coroner found the killing lawful and directed the jury that they could not do otherwise.  Whilst legally possible, had the jury returned this verdict, against the Coroner's direction, their verdict would have been quashed (unless a High Court Judge disagreed with the Coroner's direction).  In any event if a man fires a weapon in a public place and then raises his weapon again and points it in the direction of armed police, the subsequent and obvious reaction of the armed police is very likely to be lawful (whether he be a fellow learned friend or not).  Having said that there are aspects of this case which worry me including this apparent and disturbing quote from the police operations room:  “He has let some off at Old Bill and that changes the rules.”  

1 comment:

  1. " I would like to know whether the above quote from "the police operations room" was actually uttered... I suspect that it was not. It is tragic and sad that this man lost his life, however one cannot truely judge the decision of the authorised firearms officer to discharge his weapon at the offender. Common law, pre-emptive strike. never mind sec 117 of pace or s3 ciminal law. This troubled individual gave that officer no other tactical option in the circumstances.