Police chief in court over shooting of Bolton dad Anthony Grainger
8:44am Monday 10th February 2014 in News
The first court hearing is due to take place today in a health and safety case against police following the shooting of an unarmed odd-job man from Bolton.
The chief constable of one of the UK's biggest forces has been charged with a health and safety breach over the incident, but the marksman who took the fatal shot will face no action.
Sir Peter Fahy, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), is accused of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act over the shooting of Anthony Graingerin March 2012.
He is ''corporation sole'' for the force, a legal status that means he is a representative of GMP but does not share criminal liability.
Father-of-two Mr Grainger, aged 36, from Deane, was shot by a GMP marksman after his car was stopped as part of a planned operation in Culcheth, Cheshire.
He was unarmed and there were no weapons in the car.
The Crown Prosecution Service decided the marksman should not face charges for murder or manslaughter because a jury would be likely to accept that he believed his actions were necessary.
The first hearing for the health and safety charge is expected to take place at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
If the force is convicted, it could face an unlimited fine.
Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has said: ''After careful consideration we have decided that the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, should be prosecuted as a corporation sole for failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
''In addition to every employer's responsibility towards their employees, the law also imposes a duty to ensure that work is carried out in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons outside of their employment are not exposed to risk.
''The chief officers of police forces are treated as employers for this purpose.
''It is alleged that there were serious deficiencies in the preparation for this operation that unnecessarily exposed individuals to risk.''
GMP could not face a charge of corporate manslaughter because the force had no relevant duty of care towards Mr Grainger.
The fatal shot was fired by an officer carrying a Heckler and Koch MP5 carbine and this passed through the car windscreen and hit Mr Grainger in the chest while he was in the driver's seat.
The car had been stolen and had false registration plates.
Mr Grainger, of Deane Church Lane, Bolton, was a defendant in a multimillion-pound drugs trial which led to a juror being jailed for contempt of court.
Joanne Fraill, 40, was sentenced to eight months in prison in 2011 after she admitted exchanging Facebook messages with co-defendant Jamie Sewart, 34, who had already been acquitted in August 2010 at Minshull Street Crown Court.
Mr Grainger was cleared of conspiracy to supply drugs but admitted handling stolen cars in connection with the case and was jailed for 20 months.