Police chief Peter Fahy pleads not guilty to health and safety charge over fatal shooting of Anthony Grainger
12:35pm Monday 10th February 2014 in News
Greater Manchester's chief constable Sir Peter Fahy has pleaded not guilty to a health and safety charge in connection with the death of an unarmed Bolton odd-job man who was shot by one of his officers.
Sir Peter, who heads Greater Manchester Police (GMP), is accused of failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 over the shooting of Anthony Grainger in March 2012.
He did not appear in the dock at London's Westminster Magistrates' Court, where the plea was made on his behalf by Anne Whyte QC, representing GMP.
Sir Peter has been charged as the ''corporation sole'' for the force, a legal status that means he is a representative of GMP but does not share criminal liability.
Prosecutor Karen Robinson argued that the appropriate venue for the trial to be heard was a Crown Court.
She noted that an unlimited fine could be imposed if there was a conviction and it was found that the actions led to a death.
The maximum fine for a summary conviction at a magistrates' court would be £20,000.
District Judge Howard Riddle sent the case to Southwark Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on February 20.
"The question of bail does not arise," he said.
Father-of-two Mr Grainger, aged 36, who lived in Deane, was shot by a GMP marksman after his car was stopped as part of a planned operation in Culcheth, Cheshire.
He was unarmed and there were no weapons in the car.
The Crown Prosecution Service has decided the marksman should not face charges for murder or manslaughter because a jury would be likely to accept that he believed his actions were necessary.
The CPS has said that in addition to every employer's responsibility towards their employees, the law also imposes a duty to ensure that work is carried out in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons outside of their employment are not exposed to risk.
Sir Peter is charged with failing to discharge a duty under s3 (1) and s33 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
It is alleged that on or before March 3 2012, as an employer, he "failed to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure as far as reasonably practicable" that the planning for "the police action leading to the intended arrest" of Mr Grainger did not expose him to a health or safety risk.