10th July 2014

Today’s conclusion by this jury of 11 Londoners represents an honest reflection of the evidence we have heard in this inquest.  It is a clear recognition of the catalogue of serious failures by the police before and during the armed raid on our family home in 1985.  It is now a matter of public record that the shooting of our mother and grandmother was not an accident but instead a result of astonishing failures by officers across the ranks to follow procedures designed to protect innocent members of the public. 

As a result of the shooting our lives changed forever.  Our mother was left paralysed from the chest down and her children became her carers.  She suffered serious ill health and her injuries led to her eventual death in 2011.

In 1985 Assistant Chief Constable John Domaille of the West Yorkshire Police – an expert in armed police raids, conducted an independent investigation into these events.  His findings were never shared with our mother and were only shared with our family late last year after a lengthy battle for their disclosure.  His findings , which have been formally accepted by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, concluded that the raid should never have gone ahead and created “grave” and “unnecessary” risks for members of the public “which should have been avoided”.

This inquest has been the first opportunity to hear evidence relating to the armed raid which led to our mother’s shooting.  For 29 years we have battled for justice and fought for truth.  A petition to secure funding to be represented at this inquest was signed by over 130,000 members of the public.  We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported our campaign for legal aid.    We hope that no other family will have to face the prospect of complex legal proceedings, in deeply distressing circumstances, without the support of expert legal assistance.

After 29 years we have achieved on our mother’s behalf the accountability she deserved but was denied to her.

Our mother never received an apology from the police.  We understand that the Metropolitan Police Commissioner will now issue a public apology acknowledging and accepting the failings.  We will listen with interest to what he has to say.

We love our mother deeply and we miss her dearly.  Her legacy will live on through the Cherry Groce Foundation , which we have set up in her memory to support the lives of adults who have become disabled through personal tragedy, and their carers

We’d like to thank the media who have shown respect to our family and, more importantly, everyone who has supported us over these 29 years.

Finally, we hope that these events have resulted in meaningful learning on the part of the police and that no family will have go through what we have over these three long decades.