Ex-officer vows to bring private prosecution over shooting of Pc Yvonne Fletcher

·4-min read

A former police officer has vowed to bring a private prosecution over the shooting of Pc Yvonne Fletcher as colleagues and friends gathered for a service to mark 38 years since her death.

The 25-year-old Metropolitan Police officer was shot while policing a demonstration against former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in St James’s Square, central London, on April 17 1984.

WPC Yvonne Fletcher memorial service
Police officers watch a memorial service for WPC Yvonne Fletcher at St James Square in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Former Gaddafi aide Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk was arrested in 2015 in connection with Pc Fletcher’s death but he was later released without charge after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said no prosecution was possible due to evidence being withheld.

In November 2021, retired police officer John Murray, who cradled Pc Fletcher as she lay dying, won a civil claim against Mr Mabrouk as part of his decades-long attempt to find “justice” for his dead friend.

A High Court judge found Mr Mabrouk, who denied any wrongdoing, was jointly liable for her shooting.

Speaking ahead of a service at Ms Fletcher’s memorial stone in St James’s Square on Saturday, Mr Murray vowed that he would not stop until Mr Mabrouk had been convicted of her murder.

The 66-year-old told the PA news agency: “We are here today to commemorate her life and her service that she has given to her country and to support the ongoing legal representations that we are making.

WPC Yvonne Fletcher memorial service
Former Metropolitan Police officer John Murray lays a wreath at a memorial service for Yvonne Fletcher (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“We’ll make our voice heard,” he added.

“Yvonne would have been 65 next year and I’m 66, we would have grown old together if I can put it like that.

“I do miss her, we will never forget her and she should never be forgotten.”

Mr Murray said that he is raising funds to seek a private criminal prosecution of Mr Mabrouk, who is no longer living in the UK.

He said: “I’m very disappointed that certainly the Home Office and certainly the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as a result of our win, have made no comment at all.

He added: “I think the CPS do take the easy option.

“I believe that cases are not investigated due to lack of money, lack of finance.

WPC Yvonne Fletcher memorial service
Police officers and members of the public attend a memorial service for WPC Yvonne Fletcher at St James Square in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“That’s is why we have got to carry on and do what we want to do, if the authorities won’t do it, then people like myself have to do it.”

Mr Murray vowed that the High Court ruling is “not the end”, adding: “We will carry on for a number of years until Yvonne gets justice, that’s what she deserves and I think that’s what everyone deserves.

“We’re not only doing this for ourselves and for Yvonne, we’re doing it for the men and women, the boys and girls who are out there today who are walking the streets and keep them safe.”

The service was attended by former and present police officers as well as members of the London Ambulance Service, including Paul Denham, who drove Ms Fletcher to hospital on the day she was shot.

Around 100 people gathered by Ms Fletcher’s memorial stone on the northeast corner of the square and watched a procession led by a bagpipes player.

Reverend Kelvin Woolmar, who led the memorial service, told the crowd: “Her murder was a shock to all of us when it happened, it is still a shock to us and we are gathered here today to remember her and also to thank John for his continuing unceasing work on her behalf.”

House of Lords member, David Verney, known as Lord Willoughby, told those gathered that he was “disappointed” not to see more retired police commissioners at the service.

He also said it was “shocking” that neither a Labour nor Conservative government have done anything to bring about justice.

“It was murder and no British government has done anything about it at all,” Lord Willoughby added.

WPC Yvonne Fletcher memorial service
Police officers watch a memorial service for Pc Yvonne Fletcher (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Former police officer and member of the Lords, Byron Davies also spoke to the crowd, saying: “It is great that we are here as a police family.

“Whatever we can do in Parliament to move it forward we will certainly be with you,” Lord Davies added.

During the service, a minute’s silence was held before a bugle was played and members of the crowd laid wreaths by Ms Fletcher’s memorial stone.

A CPS spokesperson said: “The death of PC Yvonne Fletcher was tragic and our thoughts remain with her family, friends and colleagues.

“In any case referred to the CPS by the police, a decision to prosecute is made in accordance with our legal test.

“The CPS will consider any new information that is referred to us by the police in relation to this case, and will continue to bring offenders to justice wherever possible.”

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.

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