1 Jun 2016

Cherry Groce children to receive police compensation

Five children whose mother was shot and crippled by police in 1985 are to receive substantial damages in compensation from the Metropolitan Police, Channel 4 News can reveal.

A High Court judge has declared that the police still have a duty of care to the children 31 years on from a botched armed raid on the home of Cherry Groce in Brixton, south London.

The Metropolitan Police failed to get the case dismissed on the grounds the claims fell outside the time limits.

Groce was shot and paralysed in September 1985 when police raided her home looking for one of her sons, who did not live there and was not there at the time.

His brother Lee Lawrence and three sisters were in the house. He was just 11 when he witnessed police kick down the bedroom door and open fire at his mother.


Her shooting at the hands of the Metropolitan Police sparked several nights of rioting in Brixton.

Last week the courts acknowledged what they had all been through and ordered the police to compensate.

Lawyers for the Metropolitan Police said in court that the claim ran into six figures, more than £100,000, however a final figure has yet to be agreed.

In an interview with Channel 4 News to be broadcast tonight, Lee Lawrence tells Simon Israel: “The only choice we had was do we let it go, or do we stand up for what is true and what is right? And they deserve to be accountable for what had happened to us.


“What we went through was real and we were children in the house at the time that witnessed a traumatic experience which then had a profound effect on our lives.”

Their mother received half a million pounds in compensation in 1993 in an out of court settlement.

Following an inquest into Groce’s death in 2014, the Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe apologised to the family, admitting that the police had caused “irreparable damage”.


In a statement tonight the Metropolitan Police said: “The Commissioner apologised unreservedly following the inquest. Having accepted responsibility for the Met’s failings, we sought to agree a settlement with family members prior to court proceedings being brought but unfortunately this was not possible.

“Following the court hearing on 24th May 2016, a consent order was drawn up in which a number of concessions were made on both sides and all parties will now seek to agree a settlement of the revised claim.”