Tussler inquest finds lawful killing verdict

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THE family of Fernhurst man Mervyn Tussler who died as a result of a Police shooting have criticised officers’ handling of the incident.

Dozens of witnesses gave evidence including the senior firearms team involved, weapons experts and friends of the 64-year old who died at his home in Ash Grove last year.

It took a jury more than eight hours to arrive at a verdict of lawful killing by Police today (Friday November 12), with the case attracting a wealth of national media.

Speaking at the conclusion of the inquest, Mr Tussler’s daughter Sandra Skelton said: “The police relied on inaccurate information and make use of information that was available to them.

“They failed to take account of his mental state. If the incident had been properly managed then he could be alive today. If lessons have been learned from this we hope that it could save lives in future.”

Police expressed their condolences to the family at having to resort to lethal force in the incident. It was sparked after gun-enthusiast Mr Tussler threatened to kill a social worker who decided his chronically-ill wife was to be taken into care after he had been her registered carer for more than a decade.

A statement given by Assistant chief constable Olivia Pinkney said: “My thoughts are with Mr Tussler’s family today after the jury has returned a verdict of lawful killing. I cannot underestimate the impact his death had had on his family. What happened that day was tragic and unforseen.

This incident has also had a profound impact on those officers involved and their families. Firearms officers are highly trained and the use of lethal force is seen as a last resort to protect the public or themselves.”

- For a full report read next Thursday’s Observer.