11 July 2019

Before Chairman to the Inquiry HHJ Teague QC
Liverpool Crown Court
Heard from July 2016 – May 2017

Final report published 11 July 2019

Over two years on from the closing remarks in May 2017 and seven years since his death, the report of the Anthony Grainger Inquiry has today been published. Anthony, a 36 year old father of two, was unarmed and sat in a parked car in Culcheth near Warrington in Cheshire, when he was shot dead by an armed police officer during a ‘hard stop’ operation.

The Judge found that the Force were “to blame” for Anthony’s death, and a catalogue of errors meant that the police operation violated Article 2 - the right to life. The police failed to ensure that an accurate intelligence picture was produced, and there were multiple serious errors in the briefing of the firearms officers and the planning and execution of the operation.

Commanding officers bore the brunt of the critical findings that four officers - including two commanders and a firearms Tactical Adviser - were not professionally competent at the time and should not have been part of the operation, that command logs had not been completed contemporaneously and had been made up after the botched operation, and that the hard stop tactic was seen as the natural conclusion of the deployment of the officers rather than a high risk option of last resort. 

The Report found that officers had misled the Inquiry when giving evidence and GMP had previously misled the Crown Court when it was prosecuted for Health and Safety offences which were stayed.

The shooter, known by the cypher Q9, had not only been led into error by the inaccurate and misleading intelligence briefing, but he had also taken account of inaccurate and unfounded anecdotal accounts given to him by other officers. Q9 was particularly criticised for asserting in evidence that he would not do anything differently if presented with the same situation.

The family and Gail Hadfield Grainger, Anthony’s partner, are now calling on the Crown Prosecution Service to review the case and charge GMP with Corporate Manslaughter, and officers with attempting to pervert the course of justice with respect to the criminal trial.

The process has taken more than seven years, largely due to the lack of candour by GMP who were also criticised in the Report for serious disclosure failings and an institutional inability to accept any failings.

This Report is yet further evidence of the urgent need for a statutory duty of candour which would have required GMP to have exercised candour and been honest about what really happened, including their own shortcomings, in the immediate aftermath of the death. To this end INQUEST has been a strong supporter of efforts by victims of a number of disasters to bring the Public Authorities (Accountability) Bill into law. 

This is only the second time a public inquiry has been established following a fatal police shooting, in place of an inquest, after the Azelle Rodney Inquiry which concluded in July 2013.

Gail Hadfield-Grainger, Anthony’s partner, said: “It has  taken seven years but some justice  has been done today for Anthony.

This devastating report shows  that Anthony’s death was caused by a litany of catastrophic failures by Greater Manchester Police in 2012. It could and should have been prevented.

It also exposes, that even now in 2019, Greater Manchester Police is unfit to control firearms operations. This is a scandal, which places other  lives at risk.

I have waited seven years for an apology from the Chief Constable. I am still waiting.

The Home Secretary set up this inquiry and this shocking report demands his immediate attention.  He needs to explain to the public what he is going to do to make it safe for armed police to be deployed on the streets of Manchester.

I ask the Home Secretary to sit down with me and other bereaved families to see what can be done to save lives.”

Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST said:This report is an exposition of failures by GMP, leading to the needless death of an unarmed man.

The evidence heard demonstrates the urgent need for culture change in police forces nationally, particularly amongst firearms officers, who must be open to scrutiny. Openness and honesty by the police in relation to Anthony’s shooting could have saved time, public money, and significant pain for the family.

Previous deaths have revealed serious failings in operational planning and yet recommendations for change have been systematically ignored.

The failure to hold the police to account for lethal force breeds impunity. We hope today’s conclusion leads to full accountability of those responsible. The rule of law must apply to the police, including at a corporate level, in order to prevent abuses of state power.”

Tony Murphy of Bhatt Murphy, solicitor to Gail Hadfield-Grainger, said: “This is a landmark report for armed policing in this country.

The scale of institutional incompetence uncovered by this inquiry within Greater Manchester Police, reveals evidence of corporate manslaughter in relation to fatal police shooting of Anthony Grainger.

We call on the Director of Public Prosecutions, Max Hill QC, to urgently review this evidence with a view to instituting criminal proceedings against Greater Manchester Police as a body corporate for manslaughter.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is already reviewing this evidence in order to decide on gross misconduct proceedings against the shooter Q9 and against senior officers.”


For further information and interview requests contact INQUEST Communications Team: 020 7263 1111 or Lucy email; Sarah email

INQUEST has been working with Anthony’s partner Gail Hadfield-Grainger since April 2012. She is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Tony Murphy of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, Pete Weatherby QC of Garden Court Chambers and Fiona Murphy of Doughty Street Chambers.

The parents of Anthony Grainger are separately represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Jonathan Bridge of Farleys Solicitors, Leslie Thomas QC of Garden Court Chambers and Adam Straw of Doughty Street Chambers. Also see the Farleys Media Release for more information.

Anthony’s partner Gail Hadfield Grainger spoke to the Observer about her concerns in an interview published on 6 July 2019.

Grainger Inquiry further details

  • Details and records from the inquiry are available at graingerinquiry.org.uk, including the full terms of reference.
  • The decision to convert the original inquest into a full public inquiry was made by the then Home Secretary, Theresa May, in March 2016 to allow more sensitive evidence to be heard. The inquiry opened in July 2016, hearing evidence from January 2017 and closing in May 2017.
  • Evidence from the inquiry established that GMP officers involved in the operation in which Anthony was shot met with members of the Police Firearms Officers' Association, including the officer who shot Mark Duggan, prior to giving statements to the Independent Office on Police Conduct (IPCC) for the investigation. This led to a decision not to give written statements to the IPCC, despite the meeting initially being described at the inquest as a ‘welfare meeting’. There was also evidence of significant conferral between officers involved, and delays in giving evidence.


  • A full public inquiry was established by the then Home Secretary Theresa May in March 2016.
  • The Opening Sessiontook place on Tuesday 26th July 2016 and a Preliminary Hearing took place on Monday 14th November 2016.
  • Directions hearingtook place on Thursday 15th December 2016. The oral hearings took place on 17 January - 28 April 2017 (see transcripts).
  • The closing remarks were heard on 17-18 May 2017. The conclusions have been awaited for over two years.

Fatal police shootings

Since Anthony Grainger was shot (between 2012 and May 2019) there have been 17 fatal police shootings, four of which relate to terror attacks. These include most recently the fatal shootings by West Midlands police of Trevor Alton Smith (14 March 2019) and Sean Fitzgerald (4 January 2019).

Azelle Rodney inquiry

  • Azelle Rodney was shot by a Metropolitan Police officer on 30 April 2005.
  • On 30 March 2010, the Government announced its intention to establish an inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 to investigate Azelle Rodney’s death. This was the first inquiry of its kind. See the official inquiry website.
  • The inquiry was heard before the retired High Court Judge Sir Christopher Holland, who in the final report published in July 2013 found “there was no lawful justification for shooting Azelle Rodney so as to kill him”.
  • The case was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to determine whether a prosecution should be launched.
  • On 30 July 2014 the CPS announced that they had made the decision to charge the officer with murder. On 3 July 2015 the officer was cleared by a jury.
  • See INQUEST Briefing on the fatal shooting of Azelle Rodney, August 2012