Fury at threat to inquest into police killing

 

The family of the man whose shooting by police triggered last summer's riots has condemned the watchdog investigating the pre-planned operation for withholding details that could scupper a full inquest.

The family's solicitor said its confidence in the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was disappearing after learning that material about police decision-making on the day Mark Duggan was shot could not be provided to the coroner in charge of his inquest.

The coroner yesterday put back the planned opening of the hearing until next year and will rule in October if the court has enough information for it to go ahead. A special inquiry could be held instead, where some evidence is heard behind closed doors.

"This is the latest twist in the Duggan investigation and leaves them [the family] uninspired by the IPCC's assertion of independence," the family's solicitor, Marcia Willis-Stewart, said. "I don't know about public confidence, but the family's confidence is going by the day."

The delay marks the latest conflict between the family and the watchdog investigating the circumstances of the shooting. The IPCC said it was expecting to deliver its final report into the incident to the coroner by early autumn – more than a year after Mr Duggan's death.

But it added that it may have material "it could not properly disclose to a coroner" over the decision by officers to shoot Mr Duggan, North London Coroners' Court was told yesterday.

The IPCC said it had informed the family about the change of circumstances, but the family said it was concerned that the organisation was acting as a "shield" for the police.

Mr Duggan was a passenger in a minicab when he was killed by a single shot to the chest during an operation involving officers from Scotland Yard's Trident gun crime unit on 4 August in Tottenham, north London. Anger over the shooting led to riots in the area, with unrest soon spreading across London and then to other parts of the country.

The police and the IPCC have apologised to Mr Duggan's parents for failing to tell them directly about their son's death. They only learned of the killing from watching television, according to their MP, David Lammy.

Initial reports suggesting that Mr Duggan shot at police were later dismissed by ballistics tests, which found that a bullet lodged in one officer's radio was issued by police. The inquiry failed to establish the sequence of events concerning a handgun inside a box that was reportedly found at the scene of the shooting. The IPCC said yesterday that a criminal trial of two men about the circumstances in which Mr Duggan allegedly acquired the gun would run into October and was the reason for the inquest's delay.

"The IPCC also alerted the coroner and other interested persons to the possibility that it is likely to be in possession of material that would be relevant to the issue of police decision-making but which could not be provided to the inquest for legal reasons," it added in a statement.

A senior official for the IPCC said last year it had erred in saying in the aftermath of the shooting that Mr Duggan had exchanged fire with police officers. The Metropolitan Police yesterday declined to comment, citing the inquiry.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory