Police watchdog: 'No evidence statement on Cottier shooting was falsified'
- Credit: Ellie Hoskins
The police watchdog claims there is no evidence to substantiate a courtroom allegation that a witness statement was falsified in the case of a man shot by police in Collier Row.
The Recorder previously reported that the Metropolitan Police had declined to refer itself for investigation over testimony heard at the inquest of Richard Cottier.
Mr Cottier, 41, was shot dead by police at a petrol station in Collier Row in 2018.
At an inquest into his death last month, one of only two civilian eyewitnesses to the shooting testified that her police statement contained comments she had not made.
She told the court that the statement exaggerated how long police officers had tried to communicate with Mr Cottier before shooting him.
Video evidence proved the account in her statement was inaccurate, but her account in court was correct.
Mr Cottier’s partner of 23 years, Melissa Cottier, called for the discrepancy to be investigated, but both the Met and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said no investigation would take place.
After local MPs and charity Inquest publicly backed Mrs Cottier’s request, the IOPC says it has now reviewed the evidence.
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A spokesperson said: “The witness account and interview were audio-recorded with an IOPC investigator present.
“We have thoroughly reviewed both the statement and the audio recording and are satisfied that the statement in question is an accurate reflection of the responses provided in the interview.
“Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Cottier’s family and friends. However, there was no fresh evidence heard at the inquest into the circumstances surrounding the death of Richard Cottier which would warrant us to re-examine the findings from our investigation.”
Mrs Cottier said she would seek legal advice as to whether the recording could be shared with the family.
“She was quite definite when she was on the stand," said Mrs Cottier. "But unless we ever get to hear the recording, we have just got to accept what they are saying.”
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