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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Not guilty verdict in Pc shooting trial
Police officers
Police at the scene of the shooting in St Pauls
A man accused of attempting to murder an unarmed police officer has been cleared.

The charge followed an incident in Bristol, when police marksmen shot dead a cousin of Christopher Thompson after themselves coming under fire.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court took more than seven hours to reach the not guilty verdict.

However, Christopher Thompson, 19, from Jamaica, was found guilty of conspiring to supply a Class A drug and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.

During the five-day trial, the court heard that Thompson and his 20-year-old cousin Fosta Errol Thompson had approached undercover police officers on an anti-drugs operation.

The detectives were offered drugs while in an unmarked police vehicle in a car park in St Pauls in August 2002.

After becoming suspicious the cousins fled and were pursued by the unarmed officers. During the chase, the detectives were shot at.

Palm print

The prosecution alleged that these shots were fired by Christopher Thompson, whose DNA and palm print were found on a converted pistol, but the jury did not accept this.

About an hour later, Christopher and Fosta Thompson were spotted by armed officers in nearby St Werburghs who had been called to the scene.

Shots were fired at the police officers and they returned fire.

Fosta Thompson was shot dead during this exchange and Christopher Thompson received a bullet wound to the thigh but managed to escape.

A week later he was captured in a car near junction 18 of the M4 by police and arrested.

Police inquiry

After the fatal shooting of Fosta Thompson, Hampshire Police held an inquiry into the incident. A report will be filed to the Police Complaints Authority.

Christopher Thompson had been brought to trial on three charges.

The jury cleared him of attempted murder but he was found guilty of conspiring to supply heroine and possessing a firearm.

The judge called for reports on Thompson who will be sentenced later this summer.

After the verdicts, Thompson's family and friends left the court without comment.

Jury sent home in PC shooting trial
16 May 03  |  Bristol/Somerset

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