Police chief admits failing to ensure safety of Burnley officer shot and killed in training

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The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police has pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of a Burnley police officer who was shot dead during a training exercise.

Sir Peter Fahy entered a guilty plea this morning after PC Ian Terry was killed during the “cops and robbers” training exercise at a warehouse in Newton Heath in June 2008.

Two firearms officers also pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to ensure the safety of PC Terry.

The officers – who can not be named for legal reasons – appeared alongside Sir Peter at Liverpool Crown Court charged with failing to take reasonable care in relation to PC Terry’s health and safety.

PC Terry’s widow Joanne, his brother and parents were in court to hear the pleas.

The charges were brought by the Health and Safety Executive after PC Terry (32) was shot as he pretended to be a suspect.

One of the officers being prosecuted over PC Terry’s death was in charge of the training session. At an inquest into PC Terry’s death he was referred to only as “Francis.”

The other officer being prosecuted was one of the exercise safety officers who helped the lead officer in organising the course. At the inquest he was referred to only as “Eric.”

Both officers have since left the firearms unit, but are still working for GMP in other departments.

The inquest into PC Terry’s death in March 2010 ruled that he had been unlawfully killed.

It heard there had been systematic failings with the planning and operation of the role-playing drill.

On the day of the tragedy, an instructor introduced live shotgun rounds known as Round Irritant Personnel during a shoot scenario where officers were unaware those playing the villains would be armed with unloaded guns.

PC Terry, a dad-of-two was playing the role of the criminal fleeing in a car.

When his colleague saw PC Terry, he acted “instinctively” and pulled the trigger on his pump action 12-bore shotgun. Greater Manchester Police will be sentenced in March.

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