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Azelle Rodney death: Cleared marksman hails verdict

A police marksman who has been cleared of the 2005 shooting of suspected armed robber Azelle Rodney has said he is "very grateful" for a not guilty verdict.

Anthony Long Credit: PA

A trial heard that Anthony Long fired off eight shots in 2.1 seconds, six of which fatally injured Mr Rodney, 24, in Hale Lane, Mill Hill, north London.

After deliberating for 12 hours and nine minutes, the Old Bailey jury found Mr Long, 58, not guilty of murder.

Afterwards, he said: "I am very grateful to the jury for returning a not guilty verdict. It has been very difficult facing trial for something that happened 10 years ago when I had acted to protect the lives of others as a part of my job and based on my training and experience."

Mr Long's lawyer, Scott Ingram from Slater and Gordon, added: "Mr Long has always maintained his innocence and he is relieved at today's verdict."

But Mr Rodney's mother Susan Alexander, who has fought a long battle to find out the full circumstances of her son's death, repeated her view that her son's death was "wholly unavoidable".

More: Azelle Rodney: Police marksman found not guilty of murdering suspected armed robber