04/10/2007

Ombudsman Says Police Shooting 'Justified'

Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, has concluded that the fatal shooting of Neil McConville was justified in the circumstances.

Mr McConville was shot three times by a PSNI officer as he attempted to flee police in a car in Lisburn, in April 2003.

A second man, David Somers, who was wounded in the shooting incident was later jailed for four years for possession of a firearm found in the car.

Mrs O'Loan said the shooting was justified because a fellow officer's life was threatened as he was lying in front of the car after being knocked down.

However, she heavily criticised the officers from the police control room at the time of the incident. She said they were uncooperative with her while she was undertaking the investigation.

She also found the management of the operation to be "totally inadequate" and that the officers at the scene "were left to manage the process as they thought best."

The Ombudsman also questioned the disappearance of vital intelligence, which was wiped from a computer during her investigation.

(LC/SP)

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