IPCC criticises police for ‘conferring’ over fatal shooting of Islington gardener
- Credit: Archant
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has found officers conferred over their accounts of the fatal shooting of an Islington man and undermined the probe into his death.
Unemployed gardener Dean Joseph was shot twice by police firearms officer PC Stuart Brown following a 90-minute stand-off on September 5 last year.
The 40-year-old had taken his ex-girlfriend hostage at knife-point at a Georgian terrace in Shepperton Road, Islington, and suddenly moved the blade to her throat seconds before he was shot.
Today the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) upheld a complaint by Mr Joseph’s family about the way officers were allowed to confer when providing accounts of the fatal shooting.
IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said: “The way in which the officers were allowed to confer after the shooting had the potential to damage the credibility of the officers’ evidence, the integrity of the investigation and ultimately damage public confidence and we upheld a complaint made by Mr Joseph’s family.
“As a result we recommended the force should minimise conferring when officers are providing their accounts after a fatal incident and that officers should not be provided with evidence about an incident before they provide their own accounts.”
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However the report found officers had not breached standards of professional behaviour.
The IPCC said evidence revealed no indication that any officer might have committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner that would justify disciplinary proceedings.
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The investigation also found no evidence to undermine PC Stuart Brown’s assertion that he genuinely believed the life of Mr Joseph’s ex-girlfriend, Julie Moyses, was in imminent danger when he shot the 40-year-old.
Ms Butts said: “Mr Joseph’s death is a tragic loss for his family and friends, who have my sincere condolences.
“The IPCC has found no evidence to undermine the officer’s assertion that he genuinely and reasonably believed that the woman’s life was in imminent danger.
“The circumstances at the time meant that it was not feasible to use Taser as an alternative to firearms.
“Our assessment of the evidence was that the use of lethal force was necessary and reasonable.”
The conclusion follows an IPCC investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr Joseph’s death and comes after an inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court last month.
Following a three-week hearing, a jury found Mr Joseph has been lawfully killed but criticised police handling of the siege.
It said no armed warning was given to the 40-year-old before shots were fired and a trained police negotiator did not speak to him despite being at the scene, and that this “possibly had an effect on the outcome of the incident”.