GROSS misconduct proceedings brought against a police boss have been dropped.

Steve Heywood had faced a tribunal in connection with the fatal shooting of Anthony Grainger by police in Culcheth in March 2012.

The 36-year-old was unarmed, but was shot dead by Greater Manchester Police units as he sat behind the wheel of a stolen Audi in a car park off Jackson Avenue.

Warrington Guardian:

Mr Heywood, a former assistant chief constable with the force, was alleged to have misled a public inquiry into the incident.

But GMP was accused of an ‘omnishambles’ over delays in gross misconduct proceedings being brought against him during a hearing yesterday, Monday.

Today, Tuesday, the constabulary has announced that it is dropping the allegations as a result.

Deputy chief constable Ian Pilling said: “Following submissions made at the gross misconduct hearing in relation to retired ACC Heywood on June 1, the force has made the decision not to pursue these proceedings further and invited the panel to dismiss the charges against Mr Heywood.

“This misconduct case involved consideration of some complex issues relating to certain information and intelligence which, for legal reasons, could not be provided to Mr Heywood and could not be made public or indeed even shared with the panel dealing with the misconduct hearing.

“Evidence relating to those things was heard in private at the Anthony Grainger Inquiry, and as such was redacted from the public records of that inquiry.

“The law concerning what can be disclosed in a public inquiry is different from that in misconduct proceedings.

“Following submissions made on Monday, the force has accepted that some of these matters could not be overcome and it would be unfair to pursue the case against the retired officer.

“These are complex issues and the available options were often constrained by the law.

“Decisions have been made based on professional advice and in the best interests of reaching the most appropriate outcome - however, in this case this hasn't been possible, which I very much regret.”

Barrister John Beggs, representing Mr Heywood, yesterday described GMP’s handling of the misconduct proceedings as an ‘omnishambles’.

The officer had admitted that a firearms log from the days leading up to the shooting was completed retrospectively, and that he did not initially tell the inquiry he had not filled it in on the date shown.

Mr Grainger and his passenger David Totton had been under investigation by the force for some weeks at the time of his death over their suspected involvement in a string of robberies on business premises.

The dad-of-two was killed by when a GMP firearms officer, referred to in court as Q9, opened fire with his Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun.

Warrington Guardian:

During 15 weeks of evidence in 2017, Q9 told Liverpool Crown Court that he believed that the deceased ‘had reached down as if to grab a firearm’.

But no such weapons were found in the stationary vehicle.

GMP has again apologised to the family of Anthony Grainger’s, having previously issued an apology last year after the inquiry found that there were ‘serious deficiencies’ in the planning and conduct of the operation that led to his death.

DCC Pilling added: “The chair has been clear that the panel are of the view that GMP did not deal with some key elements of this matter in an appropriate way.

“Whilst we need to examine the comments more fully, we absolutely accept that mistakes have been made and this matter should have been handled much more effectively.

“We apologise unreservedly for the errors which were made, in particular to the family and partner of Anthony Grainger and to all other involved parties.”