Socialist Worker

Lawyer in Mark Duggan inquest asks cop if an officer 'planted' gun

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2383

Firearms officer pointing to where it is alleged a gun was found

Firearms officer pointing to where it is alleged a gun was found (Pic: Mark Duggan Inquest)


The coroner in the inquest into the police shooting of Mark Duggan began his summing up this week.

Judge Keith Cutler told jurors that their decision would help to “establish the truth” about the events

leading up to Mark’s death on 4 August 2011. He told them to consider their conclusions based on the evidence they’ve heard over the weeks.

The jury has now heard the last of the oral evidence in the inquest. A firearms officer, only known as V59, was recalled to give evidence on Thursday of last week.

V59 denied lying in his testimony. Leslie Thomas, who represents Mark’s family, questioned how he knew where the gun was before it was allegedly found. 

In his statement written in the days after the shooting V59 said that another officer, known as R31, had informed him that a gun had been found near to where Mark was shot. 

He said that when armed response officers arrived on the scene he told them to go and secure the firearm.

He repeated this in further statements given in January and May 2012 and again when he gave evidence earlier in the inquest. 

The inquest had been shown video footage which shows the gun allegedly being found 34 seconds after V59 initially said he had told the armed response officers to secure it.

Firearms

He told the inquest that he had only just noticed the error in his chronology and had in fact told the officers to go and secure the scene of the shooting, as opposed to the firearm. 

Leslie Thomas said, “I’m going to suggest to you, V59, so you can deal with it, that you knew where the gun was before the officers had gone round because you and/or your colleague had planted it there.”

V59 replied, “Mr Thomas I find that deeply offensive. My team are very professional.”

The inquest also heard from the witness who filmed the footage out of the window of their flat. Witness B lived on Ferry Lane close to the site of the shooting.

They told the inquest that they saw Mark exit the taxi and run in the direction of Tottenham Hale station. 

When an officer blocked his way, Mark turned back and got a few steps before being shot twice by an armed officer.

The witness said he looked “baffled” as he raised his hands, clutching what the witness said he was certain was a Blackberry phone in his right hand.

Thomas asked, “I would describe that as surrendering. Is that how you would describe it?”

Witness B responded, “yes”.

Thomas asked, “Is there any doubt whatsoever that there was a phone, as opposed to a gun, in Mark Duggan’s hand?”

Witness B replied, “It was a phone. Like I’ve always said from day one. It was a phone.”

The jury are set to retire to consider their conclusions this week.


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