Cherry Groce’s family to deliver petition for legal aid to PM

Lee Lawrence, left, with Chuka Umunna at a press conference in Wednesday today
Lee Lawrence, left, with Chuka Umunna MP

The family of a woman shot and paralysed by police in Brixton will deliver a petition to be granted legal aid for the inquest into her death to 10 Downing Street tomorrow.

Cherry Groce was shot by police in a bungled raid on her home in 1985, which left her paralysed from the waist down.

After Ms Groce’s death in 2011, coroners said there was a direct causal link between her shooting and her death.

The Metropolitan Police issued a private apology to Ms Groce’s family last year, and issued a public apology last month.

An inquest into Ms Groce’s death is due to take place in June, however the Legal Aid Agency has refused to grant legal aid to the family, without which they cannot represent themselves at the inquest.

The Legal Aid Agency has refused to grant aid on the grounds that an investigation has already been conducted by West Yorkshire Police and that the inquest was not in the wider public interest.

The petition has so far gained over 129,000 signatures, and had reached over 110,000 within five days.

Lee Lawrence, Ms Groce’s son, will lead a group of family member’s to David Cameron’s door with the petition.

Mr Lawrence said: “The Prime Minister has the power to say our call for legal aid is in the public interest.

“It will not bring our mother back, but it will bring her justice.

“She waited her whole life for justice, we owe her that.”

Chuka Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham, said: “To deny proper legal support to the family of Cherry Groce, in a matter that is clearly in the public interest and when other parties and the inquest will be taxpayer funded, is both perverse and wrong.

“This family has suffered through three generations of injustice, they need answers and the support required to get those answers.”

The online petition can be found here.


  1. they want a pay out, aren’t there any do good lawyers who will do it for free ,or can’t they use the HRA,Shami chakrabarti ,the Daily mail? ‘Brian paddock , some hypocrite milking it or exploiting it maybe? Or some do-gooders or armchair experts

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