Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 17:59 UK

Pc shot police worker with Magnum

Thames Valley Police Headquarters North in Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Mr Tilbury was shot while attending a workshop on firearms training

Thames Valley Police has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules after a Pc accidentally shot a man during firearms awareness training.

Weapons instructor David Micklethwaite, 52, shot Keith Tilbury, 51, in the stomach in Oxfordshire in May 2007, Southwark Crown Court heard.

The civilian worker, who was shot with a Magnum revolver, was badly injured.

Pc Micklethwaite denies breaking safety rules. He will find out at a hearing in September whether he will face a trial.

After the hearing the force, which faces unlimited fines, said it had made changes since the shooting.

Pc Micklethwaite is on unconditional bail until 18 September, when a two-hour hearing will decide whether to proceed with the case against him.

Our guilty plea today is an acceptance that additional control measures could have prevented the shooting
Deputy Chief Constable Francis Habgood, Thames Valley Police

The force said he was still working as a police officer, but was not involved in firearms duties.

Pc Micklethwaite remains accused of "engaging in the pointing of weapons and the pulling of a trigger during role-play in the classroom", "failing to examine or check the round of ammunition" and discharging the weapon "while inadvertently pointing the weapon at Keith Tilbury".

Mr Tilbury, a control room employee for Thames Valley Police Authority, was shot at point-blank range with a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum Revolver, while he was listening to a lecture alongside 10 colleagues on 30 May 2007.

He suffered serious damage to his lungs, kidneys and bowel.

The blast at Police Headquarters North, in Kidlington, also burnt his skin.

Mr Tilbury spent two weeks in intensive care while unconscious.

Deputy Chief Constable Francis Habgood said: "Whatever the individual actions involved in the shooting of Keith Tilbury on 30 May 2007, Thames Valley Police has always accepted that the incident should never have happened.

"Our guilty plea today is an acceptance that additional control measures could have prevented the shooting."

Pc Micklethwaite is on unconditional bail until the 18 September hearing.

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