Verdict: Romford father's shooting was 'lawful killing', jurors rule

Richard Cottier who was shot dead by police in Collier Row. Photo: Ellie Hoskins

An inquest at Barking Town Hall was looking into the death of Richard Cottier. - Credit: Ellie Hoskins

Jurors have found that the police shooting of a Romford father was a "lawful killing". 

The panel deliberating over the death of 41-year-old Richard Cottier took two hours to reach their verdict. 

Directed by coroner Nadia Persaud that unlawful killing was not available as an option, they were given the choice of either a lawful killing or a narrative conclusion. 

They opted to deliver the “short form” verdict of unlawful killing. 

However, coroner Nadia Persaud said she would be writing to the Metropolitan Police Service to seek assurances that problems uncovered during the investigation into Mr Cottier’s death either had been or would be addressed. 

She said she would write to the force about the failure of several officers’ body-worn cameras on the night of the shooting and how Mr Cottier’s family had been wrongly recorded as “in danger” despite repeatedly stating the opposite.

Ms Persaud will also raise her concerns over police officers’ shift patterns and their “effect on cognitive resources” and the storage of samples from Mr Cottier’s post-mortem, which were not tested until a year after his death. 

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The Romford father was pronounced dead at 5.17am on April 9, 2018, having sustained two gunshot wounds. 

He had earlier dialled 999, telling police he was in possession of a gun - his weapon turned out to be an unloaded air rifle.

Both rounds were fired by police officers at an Esso petrol station on Collier Row Road. 

Jurors recorded on the inquest form that on the night of the incident, Richard Cottier was "emotionally and mentally distressed", was under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and had "expressed his intention" to be shot by police. 

They said that night saw a chain of events which "provoked a response" from the authorised firearms officers.

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