Belfast Telegraph

No charges for officer who shot robber dead

By Anne Madden

An off-duty PSNI officer who shot a man dead at an east Belfast petrol station in February will not be prosecuted, the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) announced.

Marc Alexander Ringland (29) was fatally wounded as he attempted to rob the petrol station armed with a knife on the Albertbridge Road on the evening of February 3.

The east Belfast man died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

An investigation into the circumstances of the shooting was carried out by the Police Ombudsman, involving around 20 investigators.

Extensive CCTV footage was examined which showed the actions of Mr Ringland and the police officer inside the busy shop at the petrol station.

There were unconfirmed reports that Mr Ringland was |holding a knife to a staff member’s throat when the officer fired one shot.

Police officers are only permitted to fire their guns if they have a genuine belief that their life or the life of a member of the public is endangered.

A spokesman for the Ombudsman said the crux of their investigation was “proportionality”.

Yesterday a PPS spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that the |PPS has taken a decision not to prosecute in this case.” Mr Ringland had a long list of criminal convictions.

He was a father of a three-year-old child and was on licence for numerous offences, including criminal damage, burglary and assault.

East Belfast Alliance MP Naomi Long described the shooting at the time as a “tragic and traumatic” situation for all involved.

“It is also very disturbing for people living and working in the wider area,” she said. Just weeks after Mr Ringland’s death, his mother Janet, who was in her 40s, was admitted to Belfast City Hospital, where she died passed away suddenly.

The Ringland family’s solicitor, Denis Moloney, said Marc’s death had taken its toll on the whole family.

This is the third time the Police Ombudsman’s office has investigated a fatal shooting by a PSNI officer.

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