Robin Goodenough

Robin GoodenoughPolice face prosecution over death

originally by Mikey Powell Campaign
published 14th January 2005
Updates listed at the foot of this item

The trial of three police officers charged with manslaughter following the death of Robin Goodenough in September 2003 commenced in December 2003. Robin aged 26, stopped breathing shortly after he was arrested on suspicion of car theft by the trio in Oxford city centre in September 2003. Jane Deighton, solicitor for the Goodenough family, announced that the CPS had made its decision. She said, “The Crown Prosecution Service announced that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute three officers for the unlawful act of manslaughter and assault, so it was advising the police to make the necessary arrangements to charge them.”

Mr Goodenough’s brother, Thomas, said: “We’re very relieved. The whole family are outside the house, the car horns are beeping – it’s just mad. “It’s been a long time coming but it won’t bring my brother back. “We’re going to make a toast on Robin’s grave in a minute and tell him the news.”

The three accused Thames Valley police officers are Robin Shane, 31, Paul Summerville, 25, and John Shatford, 32. The officers are also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Magistrates at Bow Street committed them for trial at the Old Bailey. They were granted unconditional bail ahead of their trial set to commence in January 2005.

Hours before his death, Mr Goodenough had been released from prison after serving a sentence for driving while disqualified. It emerged after his death that in fact the Vauxhall Astra he was in was not stolen.

The family of a Robin say their lives have been devastated by the tragedy. Robin’s older brother, Thomas, said his death had “destroyed” the family. Thomas had tried to commit suicide with an overdose a week before his brother’s funeral November 2003.

Thomas said, “Robin’s death has destroyed our lives. “My mother, Glenys needs to take sleeping pills every night to get some sleep. “I lost my job in landscape management because I could not focus on it and have been having counselling since he died.”

He went on to say “Although I am ashamed I attempted an overdose, I just wanted to stop the pain, at the time, I could not cope with the funeral. “I still cannot believe my brother is dead. I find it hard to believe life will ever get any easier.”

Robin was engaged to his girlfriend, Kim McGrath, at the time of his death and in the following February she gave birth to his son, who was also named Robin.

Four police officers were originally suspended from duty following Robin’s death. They were questioned by officers from Hampshire Constabulary, which investigated the death for the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), now the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).


Follow-up News:

PC’s cleared of assault at retrial
6 July 2006

PC cleared of killing motorist
15 November 2005

Family holds vigil for dead son
17 June 2004

Police pay for man’s funeral
25 November 2003

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