Welcome to Simons Website

Simon and Sadia at Logshegu, GhanaIn the early hours of Tuesday morning, March 22nd 2005, Simon Murden was shot dead by Humberside Police in circumstances which are shocking and beyond any normal understanding. Simon worked with his father David Murden, for The And Albert Foundation, a registered charity (no. 1072068) based in Beverley, East Yorkshire set up to create long term ethical trade with villages in the developing world. The charity is also involved in community healthcare, sustainable development and fresh water well projects.

This website is dedicated to honour Simon Murden's life and memory and to the inspiration he has left with his friends and family to find a focus and meaning in what would have been his work in Africa.

Simon visited the Project sites in West Africa in January 2005 and was touched by what he experienced, pledging to help make a difference upon his return. Since his untimely death, in March 2005, many of Simon's friends and family have become involved in supporting the work that Simon was so passionate about. Please read through this website and find out what it's all about. Click here to seem some pictures of Simon, his family and friends.


Timeline of Events

Summarised below is a list of events following the shooting of Simon at the hands of Humberside Police. This incident was the first where Humberside Police used lethal force.

  • MARCH 22nd 2005: Simon Murden is shot dead on the A63 near South Cave, East Yorkshire. Simon’s family believed they had given Humberside Police a duty of care when they informed them he had left home in a confused and irrational state. The Independant Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) immediately launches an investigation into the shooting.
    BBC website initial report | IPCC summary report (PDF)

  • DECEMBER 2005: The IPCC passes its investigation to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). A file is sent to the CPS if the IPCC believes there maybe evidence that the shooting of Simon was a criminal offence.

  • OCTOBER 2006: Three senior lawyers who investigated the shooting of Simon conclude there was enough evidence to prosecute the two police officers directly involved. However, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Sir Ken MacDonald QC, rules the officers should not face criminal charges, saying they had acted in self defence.
    Letter from Sir Ken McDonald QC to the Murden family and the family response | Murden family statement | CPS Press Release and the family response | Local newspaper announcement

  • NOVEMBER 2007: Humberside Police asks for anonymity for the two officers at the inquest into Simon’s death.

  • FEBRUARY 2008: Nearly THREE years after Simon’s shooting, the inquest into his death is held at the Octagon Centre in Hull. In April, the jury in the inquest conclude the police officers’ actions were "justifiable". The family are denied leave to appeal against the decision.
    The Murden Family Response to the DPP Statement following the Inquest | Web announcement following the verdict | Daily Mail Article | Words from Simons mother following the verdict | Yorkshire Post article

  • OCTOBER 2008: The Murden family meet with Sir Ken MacDonald to tell him what emerged in the inquest and to lobby him to overturn his original decision not to prosecute the officers. His decision remains unchanged.
    Hull and East Riding web article

  • NOVEMBER 2008: The Murden family decide against binging a civil case against Humberside Police.

  • FEBRUARY 2009: The Murden family meet with Alan Leaver, Assistant Chief Constable of Humberside Police, and present him with eight recommendations. The familt request to meet the officers involved, but this is refused.

  • AUGUST 2009: Mr Leaver writes to the family to apologise for the way they were treated following Simon’s death.

  • SEPTEMBER 2009: Dorothy Murden, Simon’s mother, gives a presentation to the IPCC in London.

  • OCTOBER 2009: Sir Ken MacDonald retires from the DPP and writes an article in the Times Newspaper mentioning the case.
    Read this article

  • JANUARY 2010: The Murden family write to Sir Ken.
    Murden family letter to Sir Ken McDonald following his article in The Times Newspaper

Justice and Accountability

Simon in LogsheguThe pain, shock and horror of the Inquest disclosures and then a verdict still against Simon, delayed our announcement appearing on this website. We are finally agreed, in the light of other equally shocking deaths, we must publish further details of the way we have been treated and how Simon's life was taken. The first document is the private letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken McDonald, in 2006. This we were asked not to disclose then as the case was still sub judice and there was also a threat of an injunction by the Police on publishing anything further about the case on the web or by the media.

We are also disclosing the replies we gave to his letter in our meeting in October 2006 and also our final one in April 2008. After all these years the pain and frustration and anger is still constant. The assault and aggression enacted on Simon without precedent and without adequate explanation even after a huge IPCC Inquiry.

We remain convinced, along with Sheila Judge, the C.P.S. Lawyer, Mr. Smith Q.C. and Mr. Waterman Q.C., that the case should have gone to Court and serious charges made against the Police.

The protection of the Police by the State continues to be a serious and high profile matter. The Inquest into Jean Charles De Menenzes is a clear indication that full accountability by the Police, no matter what the circumstances, is not possible.

We are sure it will be further exemplified in the recent cases of the Barrister, Mr. Mark Saunders in London and Mr. David Sycamore in Guildford, both recently shot dead by Police marksmen, and, like Simon, with seemingly no other rational protocols attempted or even available to save their lives. With all the sophisticated equipment and technology already in place, there is no reason except in the direst cases of armed criminals already using fire-arms, why this should be the case.

The fact that the IPCC considered there to be sufficient evidence for a Court case and therefore submitted their Inquiry to the CPS is a further indication, in spite of their "independence", they are still prevented by the judicial system to bring the Police to account.

In the advice note from Mr. Michael Topolski our QC and his Barrister Chris Williams, there are these statements:

  • The thread that runs through the judgements of the higher courts is that if firearms officers panic and fire lethal shots and then seek to fabricate evidence, to cover up the fact that they panicked, this does not rebut a defence of honest belief of an imminent threat of serious harm. Thus unlawful killing cannot be established beyond reasonable doubt to the criminal standard by reason of post hoc fabrication alone.

  • Therefore, in general, authorised firearms officers are able to erect a defence of self defence with relative ease which is then extremely hard to rebut. It seems to us that the sort of evidence required to show firearms officers did not act in self defence would have to be positive evidence going beyond fabrication of their account of a shooting. Such evidence might include for example being heard expressing the desire to kill a suspect following authorisation of firearms prior to a shooting.

Plaque from Simons HeadstoneThe received opinion of so many people, both friends and the general public, is "The Police always get away with it".

Now we have no way forward to get justice and accountability for Simon.

We could bring a Civil case, if we had the funds to risk, although the Lawyers have advised the costs are too great to do this and legal aid is not available in a case against the Police. Here are the words engraved on Simon’s Africa headstone…


Simon’s influence still ongoing in West Africa

Simon’s legacy from his father’s Charity, family and friends who have taken his story to heart, has provided clean water and many fruit trees for the children in 3 African villages he had visited only weeks before his death. Very recently David and some of his Trustees and leaders in Ghana have built the first full scale Playground for Simon in one of these Northern villages during October. It will be followed by a nursery and another Playground in the next village…and we hope many more after that!

To see the children so moved, excited, and singing their hearts out with hope for the future on the night we finished it, was a once in a life-time experience of joy in the face of so much despair. This is one of the practical ways we can find to endorse forgiveness and create a legacy of joy where there is often so little, and Simon would be the first to find the deepest fulfilment in it. For more information see Simons Projects or visit theAnd Albert Foundation website.

Pics from left to right:The first teak pole being enthusiastically carried to Playground site | Planting the first of 40 teak poles in concrete! | One half of the completed Simon Playground six days later!

How can you help?

If you would like to get involved in And Albert Foundation, help the Projects in any way, suggest ideas for new Projects, make a donation or just find out what inspired Simon so much about the work in West Africa, see their website here.


Resources


Download high resloution images of Simon (right click and save target as)
Download donation form for And Albert Foundation (PDF) here
Pictures of Simon, his family and friends here

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If you would like to find out more about the Projects in Africa that Simon was passionate about, visit the And Albert website. You can also make a donation here:

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