Categories:Private Client,UK

Lawyers mourn barrister shot by police

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Readers' comments (6)

  • disgusting

    I personally think it is sick that you are running this story - the guy was firing a gun at neighbours and police, was drunk and half naked. This isn't something that should be mourned. This is something that would be better left unsaid.

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  • Let's understand before we judge

    This is something which can't be ignored, or swept under the carpet, or (as per Anonymous) not spoken about.

    Until we understand what had happened to Mark Saunders and why he reacted as he did, then it is difficult to make any meaningful comment - except to say that the loss of yet another bright, young, personable and likeable barrister is a tragedy.

    Many of us working with those who are pushed to the end of their mental tether will be wondering whether stress and the pressures he was under played a part in what happened. If so, we all need to acknowledge it and learn lessons from it.

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  • on the contrary

    Despite being in full agreement on lethal force in certain situations, it is difficult to believe that this man was shot at all by the police with the intention of killing him.

    Even more of disbelief is the SAS style execution that they employed (storming the apartment and filling him with 5 bullets from a semi-automatic machine gun). Every aspect of this is excessive force.

    The police must have known the identity of this man, his background and hence the irrationality of his behaviour. If this man had been drinking, on drugs or mentally ill then the right approach would have been to cordon off the area, pump tear gas into the building and sit tight, regardless of whether he had a gun. This shoot-to-kill policy should not be used in domestic cases even if firearms are used unless there is clear and immediate threat to human life. He had no hostages so the only targets would have been heavily armed police who did not need to confront with force.

    I also question whether, from looking at the pictures in the press, the SAS or ex-SAS accompany SO19 in these situations and would suggest their "killing house" approach is not appropriate in such circumstances. This man was not thinking straight and there is no excuse for killing the man. I feel sorry for him, his wife and his whole family.

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  • very strange

    All I can say is that I hope I do not live in the same neighbourhood as the last two individuals who commented - tolerating behaviour like Mr Saunders exhibited is not acceptable in any society.

    The idea that the police acted unreasonably strikes me as plain odd. He was clearly acting irrationally and doing so with a gun that he was firing off at will. This is not the kind of behaviour we should entertain - I believe that the sympathy being spoken here is due to the fact that he was clearly an accomplished and well educated man and therefore could not have clearly understood his actions.

    The idea that he was under immense strain is also a bizarre excuse to allow someone to be firing off a gun in central London. Many people are under stress and strain but they do not resort to firing a gun... especially in a society such as Britain which does not welcome such types of behaviour.

    I wonder if the reaction would have been the same had the man in question been an uneducated individual on a Peckham estate. I suspect not.

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  • Let's understand before we judge - 2

    Let's be clear - I do not "tolerate" or condone behaviour in which individuals hole themselves up and shoot at will (regardless of who they are and where they live) but you have to understand why someone has got themselves into that position, what has happened to their ability to think and react sanely, before you rush to judgment. Saying it's not "acceptable" behaviour is to state the obvious; understanding why it happened (and to question what could have been done to prevent it) is something which, thankfully, appears to be in play.

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  • This is typical of modern policing,which we have seen in a number of recent cases,where overwhelming,lethal force was used against an individual,going back to the Jean Charles Menezez killing in 2005,and most recently,Mr Moat.It is a another tragedy,where lessons will not be be learned. In this case, apparently nervous,inexperienced police,opened fire without considering the mental state of Mr Saunders and their rejection of any help offered by his wife,who could well have resolved the situation without Mr Saunders being killed.It is disgraceful. British police are not to be trusted with guns of any kind.

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