07 September 1998

HM Coroner David Mitford Court 2 Newcastle Crown Court

The inquest into the death of 21 year old James Brady, a mechanic, opens today in Newcastle. Police shot James Brady dead on 24 August 1995 following an operation into a potential robbery of a Working Men’s club, the Westerhope Excelsior Social Club and Institute, Ivy House, Wheatfield Road in Westerhope. The inquest is expected to last three weeks.

The police had information as to who the suspects were, where they were leaving from to commit the robbery, that they had an imitation firearm, where the robbery would take place and the time it was due to take place. Despite all this knowledge the police failed to arrest the suspects including the deceased James Brady prior to their arrival at the scene but lay in wait for the at the Club. The police ambushed the suspects as they entered the premises during which James Brady was shot dead and the other three suspects escaped from the scene to be apprehended the following day.

The inquest is the first and only opportunity the family will have to find out exactly what led to their son’s death. They want to know why the police did not act on prior information and why the operation resulted in the death of their son James Unlimited public funds will be available for the Chief Constable’s lawyers to represent him and union funds will enable legal representation for the police officers. In contrast the family will be represented at the inquest by barrister Leslie Thomas without the benefit of any resources or legal aid which is not available for inquests.