Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Friday, 18 September 2009 14:40 UK

Pc admits shooting safety breach

Keith Tilbury
Keith Tilbury suffered serious damage to his lungs, kidneys and bowel

A firearms instructor from Thames Valley Police has pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules after he accidentally shot a civilian worker.

Pc David Micklethwaite, 52, shot Keith Tilbury, 57, during a training exercise in Oxfordshire on 30 May 2007.

He pleaded guilty to offences under the under the 1974 Health and Safety Act at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr Tilbury said: "I am pleased that by pleading guilty, he has acknowledged the mistakes he made."

He added: "I believe it is vital that our police forces have the respect of the public and this can only happen if they are seen to be held accountable for mistakes in the same way as members of the public might be."

Pc Micklethwaite was 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 gun "while inadvertently pointing the weapon at Keith Tilbury".

Mr Tilbury, a control room employee for Thames Valley Police Authority, was shot in the stomach at point-blank range with a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum revolver while he was listening to a lecture alongside 10 colleagues at the force's Police Headquarters North in Kidlington.

He suffered serious damage to his lungs, kidneys and bowel and spent two weeks in intensive care.

At an earlier hearing, Thames Valley Police pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety rules.

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