Man shot dead by Cambridgeshire police had criminal record, coroner tells hearing

The scene of the shooting in 2015
The scene of the shooting in 2015

An engineer shot dead by police at his marital home had a criminal record, a coroner has said.

Richard Davies, 41, was fatally shot at the home he shared with his wife Samantha in St Neots, Cambridgeshire.

He died of a single gunshot wound to the chest on October 21, 2015.

It reportedly followed a stand-off and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said a gun and two knives were found inside the home.

Nicholas Moss, assistant coroner for Cambridgeshire, told a pre-inquest review hearing that “in the vast majority of inquests, the deceased’s criminal record wouldn’t be relevant”.

He told today’s hearing (Monday March 27) at Huntingdon Town Hall he would allow details of Mr Davies’s criminal record to be put before a jury inquest.

“It’s clear that to some extent Mr Davies’s criminal history, although in short form, was referred to in the police communications,” said Mr Moss.

“While that information in many cases would be seen as prejudicial, I’m minded to include it.

“The police officers who attended were told about it and, making the judgement calls they did, that was one of the things they had to take into account.”

The firearms officer who fired the fatal shot was referred to at the hearing as I7 and an application for his evidence to be given anonymously has been made.

The hearing was told the officer currently works on plain-clothes firearms operations targeting organised crime. Mr Moss said he would make a formal ruling on anonymity ahead of the full inquest.

Mr Moss said that Mr Davies “suffered fatal, catastrophic injuries without an exit wound” and he asked for evidence to be produced about the type of bullet used and the likelihood of it breaking up and causing damage within the body.

The IPCC has investigated the incident but has yet to publish its findings.

A full jury inquest will begin on July 5 at Peterborough Town Hall and is expected to last up to three weeks.

Mr Davies’s wife Samantha and his parents Gillian and Chris Davies attended Monday’s hearing.

IPCC data shows Mr Davies was one of three people who died after being shot by police marksmen in 2015/16.