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Family want Saunders marksman probe

The family of a barrister shot dead by police have called for a "rigorous inquiry" into claims that one of the marksmen inserted song titles into his inquest evidence.

An officer of the Metropolitan Police's CO19 firearms unit was removed from duty because of suspicions that he peppered his testimony under oath with musical references.

The police shooter, known only as Alpha Zulu 8 (AZ8), has already been reprimanded for swearing repeatedly during his evidence at Westminster Coroner's Court.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched a fresh investigation when senior officers referred the allegations to the watchdog.

Sources close to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson said he was "furious" that anyone could show such "insensitivity and lack of judgment" during the high-profile hearing.

Mr Saunders's mother Rosemary, of Alderley Edge, Cheshire, who sat through much of the inquest, accused the officer of apparently treating it as a "game".

She told the Evening Standard: "It does make me think about what goes on within CO19 and how seriously they have taken this case. Having seen all of these men interviewed, we saw the moderate ones who didn't fire a gun, and the ones that fired, who were completely different. His attitude has not surprised me.

"There needs to be a rigorous investigation into this. It's not acceptable. We feel very strongly about that."

The two-and-a-half week inquest found that Mr Saunders, 32, was lawfully killed when he pointed his shotgun at officers after a drinking binge.

AZ8 was one of four officers who may have fired shots that caused fatal injuries to Mr Saunders as he stood at the window of his kitchen window in Markham Square, Chelsea, on May 6 2008.


From Belfast Telegraph