Anthony Grainger: Mother loses legal challenge over court case

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image copyrightPA Media
image captionAnthony Grainger was shot dead during a planned police operation in 2012

The mother of an unarmed man shot dead by police has lost a legal challenge over the collapse of a court case.

Anthony Grainger, 36, was shot during a police operation in March 2012 in a car park in Warrington, Cheshire.

In 2014, the then chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, was charged with a health and safety breach over the shooting.

But the case was dropped in 2015 because sensitive material could not be used as part of the prosecution.

Sir Peter's lawyers had argued he could not defend himself without deploying "sensitive" evidence, such as information which may have been discovered through the covert interception of private messages or telephone calls.

Mr Grainger's mother Marina Schofield took legal action against the Home Office over a legal ban on the use of so-called "intercept evidence" in criminal proceedings.

The Home Office neither confirmed nor denied that the sensitive material was in fact intercept evidence, but agreed that the High Court should proceed on the assumption that it was.

image copyrightPA
image captionSir Peter Fahy had faced a charge of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act

At a hearing last month, Ms Schofield's lawyers argued that intercept evidence in relation to "a lethal criminal offence by a state agent" should be exempt from the ban, as long as it does not cause unjustifiable harm to the public interest.

However, the Home Office argued allowing this sensitive material to be used as evidence in criminal proceedings could risk revealing law enforcement agencies' "intelligence methods and capabilities" being made public.

Lord Justice Singh, sitting with Mr Justice Julian Knowles, dismissed the claim, saying that "anxious consideration" had been given by Parliament as to whether the law preventing the use of intercept evidence should be changed.

He added: "There is every good reason to leave it to Parliament to decide whether to modify the longstanding bar on the use of intercept material as evidence, a bar which it has chosen to keep in place after numerous considered reviews."

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