Police apologise for fatal shooting of innocent man


james-ashley2originally published: 5th March 2009

Sussex police yesterday formally apologised to the family of James Ashley, who was shot dead by police in Hastings more than 10 years ago.

The police have admitted negligence and reached a settlement with Ashley’s family that involves financial compensation and a public apology.

Ashley, known as Jimmy, was shot dead in January 1998 by Chris Sherwood, of the Sussex police special operations unit, during a raid on his flat. Ashley, who was 39, was naked and unarmed at the time and there was nothing illegal in his flat.

“The death of James Ashley was a tragedy which should never have occurred and it was caused by a series of failures at different levels of Sussex police in relation to events prior to the raid and its planning and execution,” Sussex police said. It said the police acknowledged serious shortcomings in the way in which the aftermath of Ashley’s death was handled.

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