High court dismiss legal challenge

INQUEST press release regarding a case being conducted by Hickman and Rose and counsel from Garden Court Chambers and Doughty Street Chambers.

‘Unarguable' legal challenge by police shooter E7 to the finding that he unlawfully killed Azelle Rodney dismissed by High Court

Susan Alexander calls for an urgent CPS decision on criminal charges

The High Court has today refused permission for the police shooter of Azelle Rodney, known as E7, to judicially review the ruling of unlawful killing by an inquiry last year.

Helen Shaw, co-director of INQUEST said:

“We welcome this ruling which re-confirms the inquiry’s unequivocal finding that the killing of Azelle Rodney was unlawful. The CPS must now come to a decision regarding a prosecution as a matter of priority – Susan Alexander cannot be expected to endure further delays in a legal process that has already lasted nine years.”

Statement from Daniel Machover, solicitor at Hickman and Rose, on behalf of Azelle Rodney’s mother, Susan Alexander:

Susan Alexander welcomes today’s clear decision by the High Court to reject E7's legal challenge to the outcome of the Public Inquiry into the untimely and wholly avoidable death on 30 April 2005 of her son, Azelle Rodney.

It is quite clear from the court’s decision that E7’s legal challenge was without merit.

E7’s key challenge as to the finding that he unlawfully opened fire on Azelle Rodney was ruled as being ‘unarguable’ (see para 59), the Court being in ‘no doubt’ that all the related findings by Sir Christopher Holland were neither irrational or perverse (see para 46).

Sir Christopher Holland had ample evidence to draw on to justify his conclusion that E7 unlawfully killed Azelle Rodney. Please see the statement made by Susan Alexander on the publication of the Inquiry’s Report back on 5 July 2013:

http://www.inquest.org.uk/media/pr/family-solicitor-and-inquest-respond-to-publication-of-azelle-rodney-inquir.

Susan stands by every word of what she and others said on that occasion.

E7, who retired from the MPS just a few months after killing Azelle Rodney, has used valuable court time and taxpayers money on his ‘unarguable’ legal challenge. A line must be drawn under this.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in London (MOPAC) should now urgently review the expenditure of taxpayers money to the tune of as much as £168,000 towards E7’s legal costs on this failed claim.

It is of particular concern that MOPAC agreed to pay out this sum to E7’s lawyers - and that the MPS backed E7’s funding request - even after the High Court first rejected his judicial review out of hand back in October 2013.

In the meantime, no proper resources appear to have been put in to reviewing possible criminal charges by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Almost eight months after the publication of the Inquiry’s Report, the CPS have completely failed to reach an efficient and speedy decision on whether to bring criminal charges in respect of the unlawful killing of Azelle Rodney, compared with taking six months to make its initial negative decision back in July 2006, based on the (now discredited) IPCC investigation.

At present, no one will tell Susan Alexander when any CPS decision is remotely likely.

Even though the Government officially apologised to Susan Alexander in public in 2012 at the European Court of Human Rights about the delay in her case, the best that the CPS can say in 2014 is that they hope to tell Susan some news by the end of May 2014, but that will be after Susan begins her 10th year of fighting for justice for the death of her son.

No mother should ever endure a wait of this kind.

Susan Alexander therefore calls on the DPP, the Attorney General and the Home Secretary to review the resources being applied to this case by the CPS (and if relevant the IPCC) and to prioritise this case, with a view to reaching the earliest possible decisions on criminal charges, preferably before this Easter.

Susan Alexander is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Daniel Machover of Hickman and Rose solicitors and Leslie Thomas QC of Garden Court chambers and Adam Straw of Doughty Street chambers.