The Murder of Yvonne Fletcher

Andrew Wood
4 min readFeb 27, 2024

Although it was forty year ago I vivdly remember this happening. It was a shocking thing in 1980s England for anyone to be shot, never mind a police officer. I re-earthed the details of story while researching for my book Death of a Union, and it plays an important part.

But first, the story, one that saddens me even today...

The murder of Yvonne Fletcher was a highly publicized and tragic event that occurred, on April 17, 1984, in London. Yvonne Fletcher was a 25-year-old police officer who was fatally shot while on duty outside the Libyan Embassy on St James's Square during a protest against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

Fletcher was monitoring the protest when shots were fired from within the Embassy. She was hit by a bullet and sustained fatal injuries. Despite efforts to save her, she died shortly afterward at Westminster Hospital. Another 11 people were injured in the incident.

The shooting led to a siege of the Embassy and a diplomatic crisis between the UK and Libya. The British government demanded the extradition of the individuals responsible for Fletcher's death, but Libya refused to cooperate. In response, the British government severed diplomatic relations with Libya, expelled all Libyan diplomats from the UK, and ordered the closure of the Libyan Embassy. The incident strained relations between the two countries for years.

There have been allegations and suspicions that MI5, the British domestic intelligence agency, restricted information related to the murder of Yvonne Fletcher. Some individuals and groups have suggested that MI5 might have had prior knowledge of the threat posed by the Libyan Embassy and its staff but failed to act effectively to prevent the shooting. However, details about MI5's involvement or potential knowledge have never been officially confirmed or disclosed.

The lack of transparency surrounding MI5's actions and information related to the case has fueled speculation and conspiracy theories. However, due to the secretive nature of intelligence agencies and national security concerns, it can be challenging to ascertain the full extent of MI5's involvement or any potential restrictions on information related to Yvonne Fletcher's murder.

Despite numerous investigations and suspects being identified, no one has ever been charged or convicted in connection with Yvonne Fletcher's murder. The case remains open, and efforts to bring those responsible to justice continue, but it remains one of the most notorious unsolved murders in British history.

How does it play into the book?

This is the second real-life murder that played a pivotal role in the miners eventually losing their strike. The first was a taxi driver named David Gareth Wilkie. Fletcher's death would seem to have had nothing to do with the strike, and indeed, it would not have except that...

Less than five months after her murder, Roger Windsor, President of the National Union of Miners, was pictured meeting Muammar Gadaffi in Libya while begging for money for the striking miners. This caused a severe backlash to the miners' cause. It's just one of many true stories woven into my new geo-political thriller, which spans four decades and collides with Scotland's quest for independence in the present.

Death of a Union



Andrew Wood

Author & Marketing Legend with over 50 books :I write on: Marketing, Travel, Sales, Success, Biz, Leadership, Golf, Autos, Books, Events