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Mother sobs as pre-inquest hearing at North London Coroner's Court is told of Tottenham man Mark Duggan's shooting
A full inquest into the shooting of Mark Duggan by armed police – an incident which sparked the 2011 summer riots - will take place in September.
A pre-inquest hearing at North London Coroner’s Court this afternoon heard how the full inquest, which was previously listed for today, had to be postponed after the hearing was taken over by Judge Keith Cutler, who was appointed in December.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was also criticised at the hearing for delays in producing its report as legal representatives laid out the points the inquest would look to establish.
Mr Duggan’s mother Pamela left the court in tears at one point as lawyers described the injuries inflicted on her son.
The 29-year-old was shot dead by armed police in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, on August 4 when the mini cab he was travelling in was stopped as part of a planned operation by Metropolitan Police officers.
Ashley Underwood QC, on behalf of the inquest team, ran through the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Duggan, who was being followed by police acting on intelligence that he had just purchased a firearm.
He told the court how Mr Duggan was shot twice after he slid open the door of the mini cab when it was pulled over at about 6pm.
One bullet hit him in the arm, grazing his torso, whilst the fatal shot hit him in the upper right side of his chest.
Two officers say they saw Mr Duggan carrying what appeared to be a pistol inside a sock, which was found between 10 and 20 feet from the pavement in a grassy area over a fence.
Police say he purchased the gun just 15 minutes prior to the shooting and was carrying it in a cardboard box in the minicab.
Mr Underwood ran through some of the questions that will need to be answered at the full inquest later this year:
- What intelligence was the police acting on with regards to the pistol?
- Why was the pistol not seized from the man said to have supplied it to Mr Duggan before he allegedly did so?
- Were press reports that suggested Mr Duggan was a gangster true? Was that part of the intelligence in forming part of the operation and, if so, why was he not arrested before?
- Why was he not arrested as soon as he collected the box?
- Was the stop conducted in a safe place?
- Why was he allowed to get out of the mini cab?
- Was each of the shots fired at him absolutely necessary?
The barrister also suggested physical re-enactments would be needed to piece together the events leading up to the incident.
A report is being compiled by the IPCC into the death and representatives for the watchdog said it was “close to completion”.
But lawyers for Mr Duggan’s family said the IPCC’s failure to divulge what it says is ‘sensitive intelligence’ and its slow progress in making the report have had a detrimental effect on proceedings.
Michael Mansfield QC, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “The family’s position is one in which they feel very strongly that they have been let down from the beginning.
“I expressed this feeling last time in relation to them having lost confidence in the IPCC. They were seriously misled about what happened at the scene and that has been accepted and apologies made.”
Mr Mansfield criticised the IPCC for what he said was a serious mishandling of the investigation and questioned why reconstructions of the incident have not yet taken place.
Lawyer Leslie Thomas, representing other interested parties, also voiced his criticism of proceedings so far, describing the delay as “shocking”.
Judge Cutler, who will hear the inquest alongside a jury, set a provisional date of September for the inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.
A second pre-inquest hearing was also provisionally scheduled for March 28 at the same court, by which time the IPCC was asked to submit its full report.