Mark Saunders inquest: Anonymity could make police marksman likely to pull trigger

originally published by: Mail Online
published: 8th Novemeber 2010

Last week’s suspension of a Metropolitan Police marksman over his evidence to the inquest into the death of barrister Mark Saunders shows that something is very wrong with our coroners’ courts system.

An inquest into the controversial killing of a member of the public by an armed police officer is clearly a matter of the utmost public importance. Unless there is a prosecution (almost never in these circumstances), the inquest will be the only means by which the death is scrutinised.

Yet the anonymous firearms officer identified only by his codename Alpha Zulu Eight appeared – if the allegations against him are correct – to treat the process with disgraceful contempt.

The officer involved is said to have already been reprimanded for repeatedly swearing in his testimony last month at Westminster Coroner’s Court.

Now he is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over allegations that he inserted a selection of song titles into his evidence.

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