Misconduct probe for police officers over man's shooting

Anthony Grainger

Two senior police officers in Greater Manchester are understood to be facing gross misconduct proceedings over the shooting of an unarmed man nearly six years ago.


Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood and Det Chief Insp Robert Cousen are believed to be under investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), in relation to the March 2012 death of Anthony Grainger.

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Mr Grainger, from Bolton, was shot dead by a police marksman while sitting in a vehicle on a car park in Culcheth.

He was under surveillance by police at the time amid suspicions he and a number of other men were planning to carry out armed robberies.

His death prompted a judge-led public inquiry which will report back later this year.

The evidence given to the inquiry by Mr Heywood, who authorised the operation, and DCI Cousen is understood to form the basis of gross misconduct notice which have been served on the pair. The charge is still under review and a ruling is expected once the inquiry has reported back.

An IOPC spokesman said: “We completed an independent investigation in July 2013 that looked at the circumstances of the police’s contact with Anthony Grainger, including the actions of individual officers, and the intelligence, planning and decision-making around the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) operation.

“We will consider publishing our report following the conclusion of the public inquiry into Mr Grainger’s death.

“In 2017 we began two independent investigations into two separate complaints relating to the evidence given at the public inquiry by two officers.

“Both officers have been served with gross misconduct notices advising them that their conduct is subject to investigation.

“Misconduct notices do not imply guilt, or mean that misconduct proceedings will necessarily follow.

“Notices are there to inform officers that their conduct is under investigation, and to confirm the level of severity.”

Mr Heywood told the inquiry there may have been “some flaws” in his note-taking but he denied any “conspiracy” over how police had handled the incident.

Ian Lewis, a partner at JMW Solicitors who is representing Det Ch Insp Robert Cousen, said: “My client continues to co-operate fully with the inquiry team and we have no further comment to make at this stage.”

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