Manchester Arena Inquiry report finds a missed opportunity might have prevented the attack

2 March 2023

The Chairman of the Manchester Arena Inquiry has today published, and laid before Parliament, the third and final Volume of the Report

Sir John Saunders has inquired into the deaths at the 2017 Manchester Arena attack, in which Salman Abedi detonated a bomb killing twenty-two victims.

The Volume Three report details the Chairman’s findings and recommendations on radicalisation and preventability. It includes a closed Chapter in which the Chairman makes findings on security sensitive matters which cannot be published in open. 

The Chairman has concluded that there was a significant missed opportunity to take action which might have prevented the attack, and a realistic possibility that actionable intelligence could have been obtained which might have led to actions preventing the attack. The significant missed opportunity included a failure by a Security Service office to act swiftly enough. The Inquiry also identified problems with the sharing of information between the Security Service and Counter Terrorism Policing, although none of these problems was likely to have had any causative significance.
Fiona Barton KC acted for the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, who has responsibility for Counter-Terror Policing North West (CTPNW). Fiona is recognised as a leading silk specialising in all aspects of police law and is rated as “one of the finest police law barristers in the country” (Chambers UK). She has represented most of the 43 police forces in England and Wales and appears regularly in high profile, sensitive and ground-breaking cases up to Supreme Court level.
Cicely Hayward acted for the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Cicely has particular experience in Inquiry and Inquest work, acting for  central government departments, police forces, local authorities and families. She is presently instructed by the Cabinet Office in the Covid Inquiry and the Ministry of Justice in the Forbury Gardens Inquests. Cicely is recognised as a leading junior in the legal directories and described by her clients as having an “excellent manner in court” and being “very strategic” (Chambers UK). 
Aaron Moss acted as junior Counsel to the Inquiry (CTI), instructed by Tim Suter of Fieldfisher, with particular involvement in the closed section of the investigation. Aaron has particular experience acting for Coroners and Chairs of inquests and inquiries in matters concerning national security, having recently acted in that role in the inquests arising from the terror attacks at Streatham Hill, Fishmongers’ Hall, Westminster Bridge, London Bridge and Borough Market. Aaron is ranked for his work in Inquests and Inquiries and is described as “fantastically diligent; really astonishingly capable” (Chambers UK).


Fiona Barton KC

Call 1986 | Silk 2011

Cicely Hayward

Call 2009

Aaron Moss

Call 2013

Related areas

Public Inquiries


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