‘Cow­ardly’ po­lice chief acted sen­si­bly, ter­ror in­quest is told

Daily Express - - SPECIAL REPORT ON DEVASTATION OF SEAS - By John Twomey

THE Chief Coro­ner de­fended po­lice chief Sir Craig Mackey yes­ter­day against ac­cu­sa­tions of cow­ardice for leav­ing the scene of the West­min­ster ter­ror at­tack.

Mark Lu­craft QC told the Old Bai­ley that Metropoli­tan Po­lice act­ing com­mis­sioner Sir Craig was right to lock him­self and two civil­ians in his car as Khalid Ma­sood mur­dered PC Keith Palmer a short dis­tance away on March 22 last year.

Cur­rent and re­tired po­lice of­fi­cers went on so­cial me­dia to at­tack Sir Craig and a pho­to­graph of him with his knight­hood medal and rib­bon was doc­tored to show him dis­play­ing a white feather – a tra­di­tional sym­bol of cow­ardice.

But, sum­ming up at the in­quest into Ma­sood’s death, Judge Lu­craft said: “There was noth­ing Sir Craig could have done to stop Ma­sood at­tack­ing PC Palmer. It is clear from the CCTV footage he would not have been able to get to Keith Palmer be­fore Khalid Ma­sood had in­flicted the fa­tal in­jury.”

The judge said Sir Craig’s ac­tions were “sen­si­ble and proper” to pro­tect his two civil­ian com­pan­ions.

Yes­ter­day, the in­quest jury de­liv­ered a verdict of “law­ful killing” on Judge Lu­craft’s di­rec­tions.

Ji­hadist Ma­sood, 52, fa­tally mowed down four peo­ple in a 4x4 on West­min­ster Bridge be­fore crash­ing the hired car, grab­bing two knives and run­ning into Par­lia­ment’s precincts.

PC Palmer, 48, strug­gled with him be­fore slip­ping on the wet cob­ble­stones. As he lay de­fence­less, Ma­sood stabbed him sev­eral times be­fore be­ing shot dead by a plain clothes pro­tec­tion of­fi­cer who was at the scene by chance.

West­min­ster on day of ter­ror at­tack and inset, Sir Craig

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