13th December 2012

9.30am on Monday 17 December

Court 80, Principal Registry of the Family Division, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6NP

Inquiry Chair: Sir Christopher Holland

The hearings at the inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney are due to conclude on Monday 17 December, with all parties giving speeches on their closing submissions.

Azelle Rodney, a 24 year old black man, died on 30 April 2005 after a police operation in north London in which he was shot six times by a Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer. Two other shots were fired which missed Azelle Rodney, with one bullet not being accounted for. The shooting took place after the car he was in was brought to a halt in a ‘hard stop’ in Edgware, north London, having been under police surveillance for several hours. Seven civilians, including two children, were walking or standing on the pavement next to where the police killed Azelle Rodney.

Two men were later convicted of firearms offences, but there was no evidence that Mr Rodney was holding a weapon at the time of the shooting. Despite this, the MPS put out a press release that suggested that Azelle was holding a gun when he was killed. The legal team of Susan Alexander, the mother of Azelle Rodney, will ask the Chairman to find that the planning and control of the police operation on 30 April 2005 and the shooting itself constitute a breach of the duty of the state under article 2 ECHR to protect the right to life of all its citizens, including when they are suspected criminals.

The closing speech of Leslie Thomas, counsel for the family of Azelle Rodney, will be made available to press at the court following delivery on Monday 17 December. Mr Thomas is expected to be the last to speak, probably after the lunch break. Susan Alexander, her legal team and INQUEST will be available for comment at the end of the hearing.

Susan Alexander said:

“This has been a long and difficult process, but I am glad that there has finally been some public scrutiny of the circumstances in which my son was killed. In the new year I would like to see the Chairman make the strongest possible findings when he delivers his report, given the damning evidence and expert opinion that has been heard during the course of the inquiry.”

Susan Alexander is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Daniel Machover, partner, and Helen Stone, assistant solicitor, both at Hickman and Rose Solicitors and Leslie Thomas, barrister, Garden Court Chambers and Adam Straw, barrister, Tooks Court Chambers.


Notes to editor:

1.The final written submissions will be published in full tomorrow morning, Friday 14 December, on the Azelle Rodney Inquiry website:http://azellerodneyinquiry.independent.gov.uk/index.htm.

2.A full briefing on Azelle Rodney’s case is available here