6 Aug 2015

Cherry Groce’s family to sue Met police for damages

The family of Cherry Groce, shot and crippled by a firearms officer in her Brixton home in 1985, is to sue for damages.

Her five children are launching legal action against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who last year apologised unreservedly for the police failings, saying he was “sorry for the years of suffering the force had caused the family”.

He later met them in person and is recorded as agreeing to consider the prospect of “reparations” to the family.

Mrs Groce’s children are seeking compensation for post-traumatic stress and other psychiatric injuries, having witnessed the shooting when they were children, the youngest just eight years old at the time.

In September 1985 armed officers staged a raid on Mrs Groce’s home in an attempt to arrest her son, Michael, who wasn’t even there.

Lee Lawrence, Cherry Groce’s son, talks about the effect of her shooting on the family

In the process one officer, Inspector Douglas Lovelock, opened fire after kicking in a bedroom door, hitting Mrs Groce (pictured above) in her spine and rendering her a paraplegic for the rest of her life.

Police paid over £500,000 compensation eight years later to Mrs Groce, but the effects on her children were not considered at the time.

Papers to be submitted to the high court, seen by Channel 4 News, say the children have suffered “ongoing effects over many years”, causing “severe damage to their family life” and their education.

In a statement the Metropolitan Police said: “We have been involved in ongoing correspondence and discussion with them, However, we regret it has not been possible to reach a satisfactory resolution.”

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