Jean Charles de Menezes: Mum's pain 'is not over yet'

By Luis Barrucho
BBC News Brasil

image sourceOther
image captionJean Charles de Menezes was shot seven times in the head by officers in Stockwell station

The mother of a man shot dead 15 years ago in a Tube station by police who mistook him for a terror suspect has said her pain "is not over yet".

Jean Charles de Menezes was pinned down and shot in the head by officers in Stockwell station on 22 July 2005.

Maria de Menezes told the BBC she was "still suffering", and criticised the Met Police.

No officers were prosecuted for the killing but the Met was fined for breaching health and safety laws.

Mr de Menezes, an electrician who was 27, was followed and shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder by two police marksmen who mistook him for a suicide bomber.

The incident came amid heightened tensions two weeks after the 7 July London bombings - in which four suicide bombers killed 52 people - and one day after attempted bombings on the London public transport network.

image captionMaria de Menezes told the BBC her "heart still feels very empty"

Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Mr de Menezes's mother said her "pain is not over yet" and "my health has deteriorated".

"I can still remember that day I got the call saying he had been shot dead. That memory has never left me.

"I am a mother and I will never forget my son. I miss him so very much," she said, adding that "after such a long time, my heart still feels very empty".

In 2006, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided that no police officers should be prosecuted over Mr de Menezes's killing, but the Met was fined £175,000 with £385,000 costs after being found guilty of endangering the public.

In 2016 Mr de Menezes's family took a case to the European Court of Human Rights as part of a final attempt to see someone prosecuted, but judges ruled against them.

Speaking about the case, Maria de Menezes said: "I don't think justice has been served - not at all."

Asked if she could forgive those involved in the killing, she said: "I don't know yet. Because I am still in pain. And [the police officers] were very ill-prepared.

"My son was honest and smart. He never harmed anyone. [The police officers] killed an innocent man."

The Met Police said it did not want to comment.

Legal timeline

image sourcePA
  • 22 July 2005: Shot dead by police at Stockwell Tube station
  • 17 July 2006: CPS says no officers will be prosecuted, but Met Police will be tried for breaching health and safety laws
  • 1 November 2007: Met Police found guilty of breaching health and safety laws and fined
  • 22 October 2008: Inquest under way - coroner rules out unlawful killing verdict a month later
  • 12 December 2008: Inquest jury returns open verdict
  • 16 November 2009: Met Police settles damages claim with family
  • 10 June 2015: De Menezes family take legal challenge to European Court of Human Rights
  • 30 March 2016: Family lose challenge over decision not to charge any police officer over the shooting

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