Judge: Armed officer should be commended, not criticised
An armed officer who shot dead a man who was threatening a woman at knifepoint should be commended, not criticised, a county court judge has said.
A claim for damages against the Met Police brought by the family of the dead man was also dismissed at Central London County Court.
The deceased, Dean Joseph, 40, was shot dead by firearms officer PC Stuart Brown during a hostage situation he had staged at his former girlfriend’s house.
She told an inquest how Joseph had smashed his way into her bedroom in her Islington flat one September night in 2014.
He was armed with a knife and was being increasingly aggressive towards his ex, 56-year-old mother of two Julie Moyses.
PC Brown had his G36 rifle trained on Joseph for around half an hour during the standoff and only opened fire when he made a sudden aggressive lunge at Ms Moyses.
Presiding, Judge Alan Saggerson dismissed claims that the officer had acted improperly.
“There is no room for doubt that the officer saved Ms Moyses’ life,” he said.
“His professionalism, steadfastness and judgement in the most extreme circumstances calls for commendation rather than criticism.
“(Ms Moyses) was clearly very distressed and pleading for her life during the incident,” he added.
Judge Saggerson also dismissed claims that PC Brown, who fired two shots at Joseph, had lied about what had happened during the standoff and that the shooting had been unnecessary.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Joseph’s family and estate also alleged there had been shortcomings in the Met Police’s planning of the operation and the subsequent follow up investigation.
Challenges to PC Brown’s integrity were ‘without justification and an adequate foundation and are to be deplored’, Judge Saggerson said.
“The fatal shooting of Dean Joseph has, in my judgment, been proven to have been absolutely necessary, justified and proportionate in these extremely difficult, dangerous and volatile circumstances," he ruled.
“The officers, and in particular PC Brown, honestly and genuinely believed that Mr Joseph was within a second or two of stabbing Ms Moyses in the throat, cutting her throat or stabbing her in the upper torso.
“The imminent threat did not change after the first, apparently ineffective, shot.
“PC Brown had no other option open to him but to shoot on each of the two occasions in issue, and to shoot in circumstances where there was a real risk of a fatality, without warning.
“Had he not done so, the only result would have been the, probably fatal, stabbing or cutting of the throat of Ms Moyses,” he added.