A PUBLIC inquiry will be held into the shooting of an unarmed man in Culcheth by Greater Manchester Police, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.

Anthony Grainger, 36, was killed when he was shot in the chest during the police operation in Cheshire in March 2012.

Mrs May, in a written ministerial statement, said the hearing will be a judge-led inquiry.

She added: “It has been necessary to convert the inquest to a statutory enquiry so all relevant evidence can be heard by the Judge.

“I have agreed with Judge Teague that the inquiry will have the same scope as the current inquest, which has been adjourned prior to the setting up of the inquiry.

“My hope is that this inquiry will be able to determine how and in what circumstances Mr Grainger came by his death and that this can bring some solace to his family.”

Following the Home Secretary’s announcement, Greater Manchester’s Mayor and police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd welcomed the news. 

He said: "Anthony Grainger’s family and the wider public deserve to know what took place during the police operation that led to his death. 

"We are now four years on since he died and it is unacceptable that progress has been so slow. 

"I have been increasingly concerned about these delays, and the corresponding lack of answers. 

"It is distressing and unhelpful to the family, is unfair to the police officers involved in the operation, and does not serve the public interest. 

"That is why I have raised this with government at the highest level, and I’m glad Theresa May has announced there is to be a public inquiry. 

"I expect it to be thorough, and speedily lead to the answers that Mr Grainger’s family, the police officers involved, and the wider public expect and deserve.”

In previous hearings the events leading up to Mr Grainger's death have been revealed.

Police launched Operation Shire in October 2011 - this was an investigation into the activities of a group of individuals believed to be an organised crime group.

The group were put under covert surveillance and officers given authority to carry firearms based on the 'intelligence profiles' of the individual suspects.

This led to the fatal shooting on March 3, 2012, as police said they had intelligence that a robbery was 'imminent' and an arrest should take place.

Mr Grainger, a father of two, was shot dead by a police marksman as he sat in a stolen Audi car on Common Lane.

He was unarmed and there were no weapons in the car.