UK Liberty

Health and safety trial has begun

Posted in de Menezes by ukliberty on October 1, 2007

The BBC:

An Old Bailey jury heard Mr Menezes was killed by officers who mistook him for a suicide bomber at Stockwell Tube station in London on 22 July, 2005.

It is alleged by the prosecution that the Metropolitan Police breached health and safety laws during the operation.

The force denies the charge and the trial is expected to last six weeks.

Clare Montgomery QC, prosecuting, said the “disaster” of the Brazilian electrician’s death was “not the result of a fast-moving operation going suddenly and unpredictably awry”.

“It was the result of fundamental failures to carry out a planned operation in a safe and reasonable way,” she said.

“We say that the police planned and carried out an operation that day so badly that the public were needlessly put at risk and Jean Charles was killed as a result.”


The Telegraph has some more detail, including the prosecution’s allegations that:

  • Police did not stop and question everyone leaving Mr de Menezes’s apartment block, despite orders to do so;
  • Armed officers did not arrive at the apartment block in time to halt the Brazilian, despite the surveillance operation beginning four hours previously;
  • Without the armed officers, there was no plan for how to deal with a suspect suicide bomber leaving the building. This uncertainty helped create the confusion about Mr de Menezes’ status that ultimately led his death;
  • Police failed in their duty of care by letting a suspected suicide bomber board a packed bus and then a busy Tube train;
  • The New Scotland Yard operations room was too noisy and chaotic for officers to accurately assess the information coming from surveillance officers outside Mr de Menezes’ block;
  • Surveillance officers who identified Mr de Menezes to armed officers on the Tube train were unaware of orders that he should be “stopped”, ie killed, before he could board the train.

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