‘No Weapon Found’ In Cheshire Shooting Car

6 March 2012, 09:41

No gun was found in a car being driven by a man police shot dead in Cheshire.

36 year old Anthony Grainger, from Bolton, died after police fired a single shot from a sub-machine gun through the windscreen piercing his heart.

It’s after the car he was in, which is believed to be a stolen red Audi, was stopped in the village of Culcheth, Cheshire, in what police described as a “pre-planned operation” to stop a robbery taking place.

An “initial visual search” inside the car didn’t find a gun.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) also said that evidence suggests that two police firearms were discharged.

Two rounds were discharged into the car's tyres by an officer carrying a shotgun to stop them driving away.

A CS canister was also put into the car by one of the firearms team.

An IPCC spokesman said: “Due to the presence of CS residue in the car a full forensic examination has not yet been conducted to establish whether there are any weapons in the car.

“An initial visual search inside the Audi, and a search of the immediate vicinity of the car, has not located any weapons.”

Initial statements have been taken from the officer who fired the fatal shot and the officer who was carrying the shotgun and the firearms team leader.

IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik and the investigation team has met with Mr Grainger's mother and partner to explain the role of the IPCC.

Ms Malik said: “My thoughts are with Mr Grainger's family and friends at what must be an incredibly difficult time for them. Our investigation into the actions of the officers at the scene, the planning and implementation of the police operation and the reason for the deployment and discharge of firearms is progressing. There is a great deal of work still to be done including forensic examinations, ballistic tests and interviews with a number of police officers.

Nicholas Rheinberg, the coroner for Cheshire, has formally opened and adjourned the inquest into Mr Grainger's death at Warrington Coroner's Court.

The inquest heard that Mr Grainger was born in Salford and lived in Deane Church Lane, Bolton. His occupation was given as “odd job man”.

Mr Grainger was a defendant in a multimillion-pound drugs trial which led to a juror being jailed for contempt of court.

40 year old Joanne Fraill, was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment last year after she admitted exchanging Facebook messages with co-defendant 34 year old Jamie Sewart, who had already been acquitted, in August 2010.

Mr Grainger was later cleared of conspiracy to supply drugs but had already admitted handling stolen cars in connection with the case and was jailed for 20 months.

Tributes were left on Facebook, with one saying: “I love you Anthony, you are the one who will be in my heart forever, my fella, my best friend, my soul mate.”

The message ended: “Hope you sleep well xxxx all my love Gail x”.

Three men have appeared in court charged with conspiracy to commit robbery following the shooting.

33 year old David Totton, of Rochdale Road, Manchester; 27 year old Joseph Travers, of no fixed address; and 26 year old Robert Rimmer, of Ainsbrook Avenue, New Moston, Manchester, stood in the dock surrounded by police officers for a brief hearing at Manchester Magistrates' Court.

All three are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery between January 24 and March 3.

They were held as part of an investigation relating to conspiracy to commit robberies - two were arrested in Culcheth on Saturday night and a third was arrested in Manchester on Sunday.

There was no application for bail and all three were remanded to appear at Manchester Crown Court on March 19.

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