Duggan Family Fight 'Lawful Killing' Inquest Verdict
Wednesday 9th July 2014
The mother of Mark Duggan is at the High Court to try and overturn the inquest verdict that he was 'lawfully killed' by police.
The 29 year old was shot by police in Tottenham in North London in 2011.
An officer can only legally open fire if he honestly believes there is an imminent risk to his own life or to others.
Michael Mansfield QC, appearing for Pamela Duggan and the Duggan family, said the ten-strong inquest jury concluded by an 8-2 majority that they were sure that Mr Duggan did not have a gun in his hand when he was fatally shot - "however eight of the jurors also decided that Mr Duggan's death was lawful killing". Two jurors came to an open conclusion.
Mr Mansfield has asked three judges to declare that coroner Judge Keith Cutler misdirected the jury and, in doing so, violated human rights laws.
LBC's Lorraine Horgan has more:
"Michael Mansfield QC, who is representing the Duggan family, has been telling the court that there complaint relates to directions the jury were given by the coroner before they reached a lawful killing verdict. He said the nutshell of this case was in the question, how is it a man who is manifestly unarmed can be lawfully shot?
"Lawyers for the coroner say a gun contained in a sock was found on the grass in the vicinity of Mr Duggan's body and that there was a 'significant issue' about how it got there."
Mr Mansfield and fellow QC Leslie Thomas, who is also acting for the family, want the verdict quashed and replaced with an open verdict - or a fresh inquest held.
Lawyers for the coroner argue that there was no error in his summing up to the jury.
The hearing is expected to last for two days.
Carole Duggan, Mr Duggan's aunt said: "We as a family, like a lot of the public, were shocked by the outcome of the inquest into Mark's death - that the jury could have reached a lawful killing conclusion when they also concluded Mark was unarmed.
"We are equally shocked by the coroner's report, as his concerns, based on his recommendations, mirror exactly the concerns of the family before the inquest had even begun.
"As a result we are further confused by the contradictions in between the jury's findings and the detailed coroner's report."