11.04.10

For The First & Last Time In Legal History, Chris de Burgh & The Membranes Share A Sentence

Posted in Firearms, Rock Und Roll, The Law at 4:27 pm by

If the publication of John Robb’s ‘Death To Trad Rock‘ wasn’t enough to catapult Blackpool’s late, great (and reforming) Membranes into the wider public consciousness, perhaps this story will do the trick. On Tuesday, the Guardian’s Esther Addley reported a London police officer has been relieved of duty after inserting song titles into his testimony surrounding the shooting death of lawyer Mark Saunders. Finally, there’s someone in the legal world trying to put a stop to any mention of Journey.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it is investigating the unnamed officer, who gave evidence as Alpha Zulu 8 or AZ8, after it emerged that he had been reprimanded by his superior shortly after giving evidence on 27 September.

Saunders was shot dead by firearms officers in May 2008, following a five-hour armed standoff at his flat in Chelsea, west London. Last month a jury at Westminster crown court ruled that the barrister, who was an alcoholic and armed with a 12-bore shotgun during the siege, had been killed lawfully.

The inquest heard that AZ8, who was stationed on an adjoining conservatory rooftop was one of two officers who may have fired the fatal shot.

An examination of the transcript shows that evidence given by AZ8 contained a number of phrases which are also the titles of songs, including Enough is Enough by Donna Summer, Point of No Return by Buzzcocks, Line of Fire by Journey, Quiet Moments by Chris de Burgh, Kicking Myself by As Tall As Lions and Fuck My Old Boots by the Membranes.

Sources close to the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, said he was “furious” that anyone could show such “insensitivity and lack of judgment” during the high-profile hearing.

Saunders’ mother Rosemary said: “If it’s all such a game, was it a game on 6 May? If this man can approach the inquest with such an attitude, then it makes you wonder about how he approaches shooting his gun to kill a man.”

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