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  • Writer's pictureNEMM

Man shot himself during police chase on A52, Coroner rules

A man who died after being pulled over by armed police shot himself in the head, a coroner has ruled.

46 year old Matthew Simmons was found with serious head injuries after being pulled over by armed officers who were investigating a murder in the nearby village of Plungar.

Officers followed the silver coloured Mazda Tamura along the A52 Bingham bypass in Nottinghamshire in the early hours of 9th November last year.

After officers made the Mazda stop, they found the driver, Mathew Simmons, 46, with a serious head injury and gave immediate first aid. Sadly, he was pronounced dead at the scene. A non-police issue firearm was also discovered in the vehicle.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation has found that Leicestershire Police officers acted appropriately in their involvement with the incident.

The senior coroner for Rutland & North Leicestershire returned an outcome of suicide on 14th June this year. The inquest concluded that Mr Simmons had died after discharging his shotgun when driving on the A52 while being pursued by police, and that expert evidence indicated the shotgun was fired prior to a collision with a police vehicle and not as a result of it.

Police closed the A52 following the incident last November. Photo: NEMM

A spokesperson for the IOPC said: "During our investigation we gathered statements from witnesses including police officers involved, analysed police body worn video and vehicle footage along with radio transmissions. We also consulted with a number of experts including in firearms tactics and ballistics.

Our investigation found that the decision to deploy armed officers, the drawing up of a tactical plan to perform an enforced stop on Mr Simmons’s vehicle, and the implementation of the plan were reasonable."

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “I express my sympathies to the family and friends of Mr Simmons and all those affected by the events. We carefully investigated the decisions and actions of Leicestershire Police officers prior to and during the dynamic circumstances that unfolded on the A52 in November last year. Our investigation found that police officers acted reasonably and in accordance with policy and procedures during the incident.”

At the end of the investigation in April the IOPC shared their report with the coroner to assist the future inquest, with Mr Simmons’ family and with Leicestershire Police.

Leicestershire Police has confirmed that the investigation in to the murder of Timothy MacDonald in Plungar is ongoing.

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