[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 April, 2005, 17:15 GMT 18:15 UK
Courage of dead policeman praised
DC Stephen Oake
Det Con Oake was not wearing protective clothing when he died
The murder of Detective Constable Stephen Oake was an "appalling tragedy", the head of Scotland Yard's Anti-Terrorist Branch has said.

"He died protecting the public from a vicious terrorist," Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke said.

Kamel Bourgass was jailed for life last June for killing Det Con Oake during a raid in a Manchester in January 2003.

Reporting restrictions on the case were lifted after he was convicted of a plot to spread poisons on UK streets.

Mr Clarke said the "important conviction" had "removed a very dangerous man from our streets".

He praised Det Con Oake, 40, for his actions trying to stop Bourgass escaping after he was detained during a raid on a Manchester flat on 14 January 2003.

"He died protecting the public from a vicious terrorist," Mr Clarke said. "It is clear that had Bourgass been allowed to continue his plot undetected, some people would have been made very ill and quite possibly have died."

The Old Bailey judge who sentenced Bourgass to life in jail also praised the bravery of Det Con Oake and his colleagues.

It would be far better for everyone if the ambiguity was taken away and we were given laws allowing us to handcuff everyone
Assistant Chief Constable David Whatton
Greater Manchester Police

Mr Justice Penry-Davey said Bourgass' "sustained and deadly attack" had only been stopped because of the "professionalism and bravery" of the police.

Bourgass' conviction, however, has raised calls for police to be able to handcuff suspects even if they do not show signs of being a threat.

Bourgass was not restrained before he tried to escape and stabbed DC Oake with a kitchen knife because officers, who had not expected to find him at the flat, had no reason to suspect him of being violent.

Assistant Chief Constable David Whatton, of Greater Manchester Police, said the rules should change.

"It would be far better for everyone if the ambiguity was taken away and we were given laws allowing us to handcuff everyone," he said.

An inquiry into the murder of Det Con Oake, who was not wearing protective clothing, criticised officers who led the raid for failing to plan the operation adequately.

David Blunkett, who was the home secretary in January 2003, told Channel 4 News he was pleased that Bourgass "had been put away for life".

In an interview to be broadcast on Wednesday night, Mr Blunkett said it was right that Bourgass had been brought to trial over the poison plot despite him being convicted only of a lesser charge of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.

The Crown Prosecution Service said its thoughts were with Det Con Oake's relatives, who it praised for their "humanity, compassion and support" during the case.

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


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific