A PUBLIC inquiry into the death of a Bolton man shot by police has been told there were problems with the competency of four of the five commanding officers in the operation.

Anthony Grainger, of Deane Church Lane, Deane, was shot by a Greater Manchester Police firearms officer in a pre-planned operation in a car park in Culcheth, Cheshire, on March 3 2012.

A public inquiry into his death opened at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday.

Mr Grainger, a father-of-two, was unarmed when he was shot through the window of the stolen Audi he was in.

The 36-year-old was occupying the front passenger seat of the car parked outside a Sainsbury’s supermarket when a single bullet came through the windscreen and hit him in the chest.

Counsel to the inquiry Jason Beer QC told the court that policing expert Ian Arundale had assessed the operational and occupational competency of the commanding officers in Operation Shire, set up to investigate individuals suspected of conspiring to commit armed robberies.

He said: "Of the five police officers in a command role on 3rd March 2012, there are problems, some of them significant, with the operational and occupational competency of four of them."

The inquiry was also told intelligence gathered by the police on Mr Grainger contained inaccurate information.

The force's intelligence profile on Mr Grainger stated he had a charge for robbery which was ordered to lie on file - when, in fact, the order was made for his brother, Stuart.

Mr Beer said a robbery charge against Anthony Grainger for the same offence had been dropped.

The court heard Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyer Nicola Moore had been involved with Operation Shire from the end of 2011 into 2012.

She said officers involved in the operation told her they knew there was insufficient evidence but were "under a lot of pressure" from their superiors because of the resources involved.

Mr Beer said an investigation by police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found serious failings by the force and individual officers.

The IPCC found the operation relied heavily on "out of date" intelligence in relation to Mr Grainger and that briefings to officers contained "inaccurate information".

It found the officer who shot Mr Grainger - referred to as Q9 - could have committed a criminal offence.

Mr Beer said the case had been referred to the CPS but prosecutors had decided not to bring charges as a jury "would accept that the officer did believe his actions were necessary and that the level of force used in response to the threat as he perceived it to be was proportionate".

Sir Peter Fahy, who was the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police at the time of the shooting, was charged with failing to discharge a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 but the case collapsed after prosecutors argued some evidence gathered by police was so secret it would not be in the public interest for it to be given in court.

David Totton, Robert Rimmer and Joseph Travers, all from Manchester, were arrested at the scene but later found not guilty of conspiracy to rob following a trial at Manchester Crown Court in September 2012.

The inquiry is expected to hear from 70 witnesses in open session and a further 15 are due to give evidence in closed hearings.

The hearing, chaired by Judge Thomas Teague QC, is due to run until April 21.