Met guilty in Menezes case

Press release regarding jury's guilty verdict following the prosecution of the Metropolitan police for breaches of Health and Safety regulations

Joint statement from Birnberg Peirce and Partners (the family lawyers), Justice4Jean and the family of Jean Charles De Menezes

"The family are pleased that these proceedings have come to a conclusion and look forward to being able to effectively participate in the inquest that must now follow. They ask why it was necessary for the police to plead not guilty in the first place when evidence of the catastrophic failings was so overwhelming. Instead, the police defence team descended to the gutter, seeking to shift the blame onto the innocent victim from their own wrong doing. This was compounded by the cynical manipulation of two images in the composite photo of Jean Charles and the suspect, Hussein Osman (the latter a photo of questionable origin. Any attempt to salvage the image of the Metropolitan police by those in senior positions publicly apologising for their errors has been undermined by the defence put forward. We note the Judge's observations that the two senior officers giving evidence consider they would have done nothing different in retrospect. We hope that they will now reflect on this and the MPS will review their position.

While the evidence heard at the trial confirms serious failings, particularly at control room level, with regard to the conduct of the police operation that morning, the outcome of the trial leaves many questions unanswered. In particular, no evidence was heard from the officers responsible for shooting Jean Charles, or from any of the civilian passengers who witnessed the shooting. This serious omission enabled the Defence to suggest that there was something about Jean Charles' behaviour on the tube that led him to be shot. The family know that evidence exists to the contrary and urgently await the opportunity for this to be aired. The absence of evidence heard from the two senior tactical advisers or from 'Silver' the man in charge of the firearms operation represents another glaring absence. And what of the 'Shoot to kill policy' itself? Whilst dodgy identification and miscommunication in radio transmissions clearly played their part in the tragic outcome, questions must be asked of a firearms strategy that effectively became an unstoppable machine intent on extinguishing the life of an unarmed 'suspect'.

The family's role in this prosecution has been limited to that of interested observers. They have not had the opportunity to ask questions of any witnesses or to suggest ways in which evidence could be brought to bear to undermine the cynical picture painted by the police defence. They have waited for two and a half years for their opportunity to discover the truth and move towards the possibility of achieving some justice. They now call for a full and fearless inquest, not limited in scope, at which they will finally have an opportunity to properly participate in a public enquiry into Jean Charles de Menezes' death. The Divisional Court, this trial judge and the IPCC are expecting the inquest to be resumed; the family hopes the MPS will not oppose it. A hearing before the Coroner to determine this issue will be heard at Southwark Coroner's Court on 10 December."

Statement from the family of Jean Charles de Menezes read out after the verdict by Erionaldo da Silva, a close family friend.

"Today is an emotional day for us here in London and for Jean's parents in Brazil. I have spoken to Jean's mother, Maria, and she said nothing can bring Jean back but she is at least pleased that the men and women of the jury have found the Metropolitan Police guilty of the charge.

It is the first public recognition of the failing of the Metropolitan police that led to the death of our cousin Jean, an innocent man, shot dead at Stockwell Tube.

We remain determined to ensure that the full truth about Jean's death is made public and that those responsible for his death are held accountable in a court of law.

We now await a full and thorough inquest where we as a family will finally be able to participate and seek answers to all of our questions. We will not rest in our fight for justice"

Statement from Justice4Jean

"We remain of the view that individuals should be held accountable and that there is evidence for manslaughter charges to be brought.

We also now expect the MPA to consider what actions they will take in light of the verdict with regards to outstanding disciplinary charges from the IPCC's Stockwell 2 report against senior officers such as Andy Hayman – guilty of deliberately misleading the public – we now expect these matters to move forward.

We once again ask if Sir Ian Blair enjoys the confidence of the public and his own police service after having presided over the death of an innocent man that today a jury have found to be the result of corporate failings. These are failures that he has continued to deny but for which he is ultimately responsible for."