Editor’s comment: Why didn’t CPS publicise its decision?

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 January 2018

Lewis Johnson died in Clapton Common in February 2016. Picture: KEN MEARS

Lewis Johnson died in Clapton Common in February 2016. Picture: KEN MEARS


It’s just as well we thought to ask the Crown Prosecution Service about Lewis Johnson, or we’d still have no idea that criminal action was being considered against the officers involved in his pursuit – or that it had been dropped.

That’s despite the fact that, two years on, his inquest is yet to be heard. Or the fact there is significant public interest in this case following the death of Henry Hicks in similar circumstances three years ago. Or the fact it’s the second high-profile case of a death following police conduct in north London that the CPS has decided not to prosecute in the space of a few days.

We know from Henry’s case that families and communities fight on regardless of official findings, and that is their right. The Gazette is happy to amplify their voices given that they have no recourse to a public relations department, and given that police and courts have in the past got things wrong. But whatever the eventual record shows over this tragic case, I’m disappointed neither the CPS nor police saw fit to make this development public.

• Thanks to the bravery of the Islington survivors and the work of Dr Liz Davies, a second legal team has been appointed to review the Gazette’s investigation into former mayor Sandy Marks.

The town hall was right to listen to Dr Davies’ misgivings over the original choice of barrister last year. The survivors have waited decades for justice, but I’m sure they would rather the investigation were done properly at the expense of a few more weeks than suffer the insult of a whitewash.

The next step is outlining the scope of the new inquiry after Dr Davies said last year the old one was too narrow. The town hall seems genuinely keen to put things right – but it will have our scrutiny every step of the way.

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