Socialist Worker

The inquest into Mark Duggan's shooting draws to a close

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2382

The inquest into the death of Mark Duggan heard final, important evidence as Socialist Worker went to press.

Police shot and killed Mark in August 2011.

The jury returned to the site of his death on Monday of this week, on Ferry Lane in Tottenham. The scene of his death had been recreated.

After Mark was shot a gun was found over seven metres away, over a wall. 

Jurors had the opportunity to hold a  replica of the gun to determine whether or not it could have been thrown by a fatally-injured Mark.

The officer who shot him, known as V53 throughout the inquest, said he shot Mark in self defence after he saw him raise a gun.

The hearing has heard expert evidence of how Mark, who was right-handed, was shot first in his right bicep, then sustained a fatal shot to his chest.

Police failed to find a gun on his body and said they discovered the gun lying on grass around ten minutes later.

Military surgeon Jonathan Clasper told the hearing that it would have been “very unlikely” that Mark could have thrown a gun that distance after being shot.

Michael Mansfield QC, who represents Mark’s family, told jurors, “We’re dealing with someone who is in the process of stumbling forward and collapsing and he continues to do. 

Collapse

“The process is one of continuous and rapid collapse.”

Jurors also heard key evidence from Colin Sparrow, the lead investigator for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). 

This was about the initial story which was circulated in the media that Mark had shot at police first.

Sparrow told the inquest that a police inspector had told him on the day of the shooting that there had been an “exchange of fire”.

But ballistics experts later revealed the bullet lodged in an officer’s radio was a police round, the hearing was told.

Sparrow said he was “very surprised” to see a television report suggesting Mark had fired at police after the watchdog had wrongly briefed media organisations.

Michael Mansfield suggested the “exchange of fire” remark may have been a “smoke screen” to cover police actions and asked why the IPCC had not investigated the source of the claim.

Jurors also heard that a witness saw an officer gather something close to the minicab Mark had been travelling in on Ferry Lane in Tottenham before he was shot by police. 

She then said she saw the officer run with it in the direction of Tottenham Hale. 

The inquest is set to end this week, with the coroner giving his summation and directions to jury. 

At the start of the inquest the jury was told that it may be a possibility that one of the verdicts to consider could be whether Mark was unlawfully killed by police.


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Tue 3 Dec 2013, 18:15 GMT
Issue No. 2382
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