The parents of a London barrister shot dead by police fled a courtroom and his sisters broke down in tears after they were attacked by lawyers for asking too many questions about his killing.
In dramatic scenes at the High Court on Thursday, lawyers representing the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) criticised the “regrettable” conduct of the family of Mark Saunders.
The 32-year-old barrister was shot dead after exchanging fire with police at his Chelsea flat in May in a case that has reignited the debate about the use of lethal force by police.
The IPCC said that the family’s “aggressive” demands for answers as to why he was killed had set back the progress of the investigation and claimed that voicing their concerns publicly risked prejudicing the case.
The family have seen police video footage of the final moments leading up to his death and claim that he posed no “imminent risk”, having not fired his weapon for 20 minutes when he was shot dead.
Earlier this week Rosemary Saunders, the lawyer’s mother, claimed that he was holding his shotgun “limply” in his left hand – the “wrong” hand – when he was shot by seven police officers in a hail of 11 bullets.
The IPCC said the comments were factually wrong and claimed that the footage was shown to the family “in confidence”.
As the row deepened, lawyers for the Saunders family said that they were never told that the video was shown in confidence and to make such a claim was a “fundamental mistake”. …
Miss Rose added that it was “premature” to bring the legal challenge to the High Court because the investigation into the shooting would not be finished until March next year.
Saunders was shot in May. Why does it take so long (10 months) to investigate what seems like a fairly trivial case (from my armchair, at least)?