Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Inquest sees CCTV of fatal shooting of Pc Ian Terry

Pc Ian Terry
Pc Ian Terry was married with two children

CCTV footage of a police officer being shot dead by a colleague during a training exercise has been shown to the jury at the inquest into his death.

Pc Ian Terry's family left the room before the footage was shown. It showed a puff of smoke rising after a shotgun was fired, killing the father-of-two.

The hearing into the Greater Manchester Police officer's death is taking place at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre.

Pc Terry, 32, of Burnley, was shot in the chest in June 2008.

He was playing the role of a criminal fleeing in a car while a colleague, known only as Chris, was in a police car and armed with a shotgun to shoot out the pretend suspect vehicle's tyres.

But on seeing Pc Terry holding a gun Chris, acting "instinctively", pulled the trigger on his Remington 870 pump action 12-bore shotgun.

Guns aimed downwards

Pc Terry, who was not wearing body armour, was hit by a blank round of a specialist ammunition called Round Irritant Personnel (RIP), designed to burst tyres and break windows.

It has not yet been explained how the safety catch was removed on the shotgun, but the inquest has already heard officers carrying such weapons during the exercise were told specifically to keep their guns aimed downwards at all times.

Other officers were carrying carbines or handguns but only armed with paint balls.

Firearms expert Chief Inspector Michael Lawler, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), took the jury frame-by-frame through stills taken from the video before they were shown the CCTV in real-time.

The jury were shown three police cars, Alpha, Bravo and Charlie, performing an exercise where they "hem-in" a suspect's car, shoot out the tyres and use CS gas to arrest the villains, under the supervision of police trainers.

Plume of smoke

The exercise began with the first of the three police cars involved, Alpha, a Volkswagen Jetta, performing a "nearside strike", pulling up on the passenger side of the Vitara, containing Pc Terry.

The officer who shot Pc Terry was the front-seat passenger in Bravo car, a Toyota Camry, which arrived next and pulled up behind the Citroen, quickly followed by the third police car, a Toyota Avensis.

The police officers then got out of their vehicles, one "covering" them by pointing his gun at the suspects while others converged on the Vitara.

On the video, Chris then ran from his car alongside the Vitara towards the front passenger window where Pc Terry was sitting.

Ch Insp Lawler described Chris pointing his shotgun directly towards Ian Terry and seeing a plume of smoke inside the vehicle.

Trainers then arrived in shot. A trauma kit was seen being taken out of a car boot and officers began to give emergency first aid to Pc Terry before the CCTV ended.

Granted anonymity

The jury was told from the moment the police cars pulled up at the Vitara to the firing of the gun was just 10 seconds.

The CCTV footage was shown to the jury but not to press or public, who were left listening to verbal descriptions and a running commentary but were not allowed to view the images themselves.

Greater Manchester Police claim showing the footage in public could compromise police tactics when dealing with dangerous criminals and have been granted an order by coroner Nigel Meadows barring its release.

Many of the officers required to give evidence, including Chris, who fired the fatal shot, have also been granted anonymity orders by Mr Meadows.

The hearing before a jury is set to last up to five weeks.

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