11 Apr 2014

Cherry Groce family win right to legal aid

A 160,000 signature petition, a community wanting justice, and fresh submissions to Chris Grayling by the family of Cherry Groce has finally delivered a level playing field.

Ministers have overturned a refusal to grant legal aid to the family for lawyers to represent them at their mother’s inquest. Last week, Channel 4 News reported on the petition delivered by the Groce family to Downing Street, calling for legal aid to be granted.

Cherry Groce was mistakenly shot by police during armed raid on her home in Brixton in 1985. It left her paralysed from the waist down and wheelchair bound for the rest last 26 years of her life.

Two police forces and a retired inspector who shot Mrs Groce are to be represented by QCs at the inquest. Up until Friday, the legal agency had refused to grant legal aid so the family could have the same level of legal expertise.

But today, the justice secretary has bowed to pressure to reverse that decision and treated the family as an exceptional case.

Round 1 to the Groce family.

Watch again: The Metropolitan police has for the first time publicly apologised for the shooting of Cherry Groce, which sparked the 1985 Brixton riots.

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