Police marksman who shot and killed man during foiled prison breakout can face misconduct proceedings, Appeal Court rules

  • Firearms officer who shot Jermaine Baker can face misconduct proceedings 
  • Mr Baker was killed as armed police foiled an attempt to free criminal Izzet Eren
  • The officer, known as W80 for legal reasons, said he had acted in self-defence

A firearms officer who shot and killed Jermaine Baker (pictured) can face misconduct proceedings

A firearms officer who shot and killed Jermaine Baker (pictured) can face misconduct proceedings

A firearms officer who shot and killed a man during a foiled prison break-out can face misconduct proceedings, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Jermaine Baker, from Tottenham, north London, was fatally shot by an officer during a Metropolitan Police operation which thwarted a plot to snatch two prisoners from a van near Wood Green Crown Court on December 11, 2015.

Following an investigation, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) directed that the force should bring disciplinary proceedings for gross misconduct against the marksman, identified only as W80 for legal reasons.

That decision was quashed by the High Court in August last year, after it was challenged by Officer W80.  

Lawyers representing IOPC appealed against the decision, which was made by Lord Justice Flaux and Sir Kenneth Parker in August 2019.

IOPC bosses were concerned that the ruling would mean that firearms officers who had made ‘honest but unreasonable mistakes’ could not face disciplinary proceedings, according to Police Professional.

Officer W80’s lawyers said that the appeal should be dismissed, arguing that the original ruling was not unreasonable.

But, in a ruling on Friday, three leading judges overturned the High Court’s judgement following the appeal by the IOPC.

Mr Baker was fatally shot by an officer during a Metropolitan Police operation which thwarted a plot to snatch Izzet Eren (above) and his co-defendant in December 2015

Mr Baker was fatally shot by an officer during a Metropolitan Police operation which thwarted a plot to snatch Izzet Eren (above) and his co-defendant in December 2015

In a summary of the ruling, Sir Geoffrey Vos said: ‘The IOPC was justified in concluding that it was open to a reasonable misconduct panel to make a finding of misconduct if W80’s honest, but mistaken, belief that his life was threatened was found to be unreasonable.

‘That conclusion was soundly based in law on the proper and plain meaning of the relevant regulations and the (College of Policing’s) Code of Ethics.’

Sitting with Lady Justice Macur and Lady Justice Nicola Davies, Sir Geoffrey said the IOPC’s decision to direct the Met to bring misconduct proceedings stands.

The judge told the court that Officer W80 has seven days to decide whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Mr Baker was among a group of men trying to free Izzet Eren and his co-defendant as they were transported Wormwood Scrubs prison (above) to Wood Green Crown Court

Mr Baker was among a group of men trying to free Izzet Eren and his co-defendant as they were transported Wormwood Scrubs prison (above) to Wood Green Crown Court

Mr Baker was among a group of men trying to free Izzet Eren and his co-defendant while they were transported Wormwood Scrubs prison to Wood Green Crown Court to be sentenced for a firearms offence.

Mr Baker and two other men were waiting in a car, but the attempt to free Eren was thwarted by police who had bugged their car.

But when firearms officers swooped in at the scene, Mr Baker was shot dead. 

The marksman said that he had acted in self-defence and was told that he would not face a murder charge.

It was revealed after the incident that Mr Baker was unarmed. 

But investigators later recovered an imitation Uzi machine gun from behind the driver’s seat in the rear of the car. 

Eren had arranged the plot using a smuggled mobile phone which was later discovered smashed in the van.

A number of men were jailed in 2016 for their part in the plot.

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