How shotgun barrister's final day unfolded

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The Independent Online

Barrister Mark Saunders went on a chaotic drinking binge that led to a deadly stand-off with armed officers. Here is a timeline of his last day.

* 6.45am: Mr Saunders and wife Elizabeth drive from their Chelsea home to their Queen Elizabeth Building chambers in Temple. Their conversation is "happy and positive" and includes plans for a holiday to India in December.

* 8.40am: The barrister returns home and picks up his mother-in-law, Margaret Clarke, with whom he had spent the weekend, at King's Cross station at 10.30am. He is his "usual cheerful self".

* 11am: Mr Saunders texts his wife to say he is home and later rings a firm of solicitors in Lincoln.

* 1.30pm: His movements become unclear, but phone analysis shows he is in the Kensington area and has telephoned escort agencies.

* 4.10pm: Mr Saunders gets into David Hay's taxi in Cromwell Road and makes a series of bizarre phone calls. When he gets out about 20 minutes later he tells the driver: "I'm going to die."

* 4.40pm: Mr Saunders rings his friend Michael Bradley, another barrister, and, during the call, fires a gunshot. He then speaks to Ivor Treherne, the senior clerk at his chambers, and fires the gun again as police arrive.

* 4.40pm onwards: Armed police surround Mr Saunders' home at 46 Markham Square as cordons are erected, businesses commandeered and specialist officers drafted in from across the capital.

* 6.57pm: Senior negotiator Superintendent John Sutherland starts to call Mr Saunders' mobile and landline. Their discussions are constantly interrupted as the drunken gunman complains he cannot hear.

* 7.23pm: Mr Saunders is filmed leaning on his closed fourth-floor kitchen window as he tells negotiators he is scared of police, is "terrible with booze" and may soon die. He asks to speak to his wife.

* 7.51pm: Mr Saunders holds the first of several hand-written notes to his window. He later calls 999 and asks to speak to a "hostage negotiator".

* 8.55pm: The barrister becomes more incoherent, saying he will be "gunned down" before falling down the stairs as music blares in the background.

* 9.09pm: Mr Saunders blasts his shotgun through a window. Two officers return fire. No one is injured. About 90 seconds earlier a bright police spotlight is switched on. Before shooting, the barrister told a negotiator he needed to "blow off some steam".

* 9.10pm onwards: Mr Saunders does not speak to negotiators by telephone, but the line is left open. Events move quickly as police consider whether they have injured him.

* 9.20pm: Mr Saunders opens the smashed kitchen window and leans out. He sits on the ledge, holding a telephone handset in one hand. He leans backwards and looks upwards.

* 9.26pm: The barrister can be heard groaning and shouting he cannot hear police as he leans from the window. He is holding a shotgun in the hand left trailing inside.

* 9.31pm: Mr Saunders begins waving the shotgun out of the window, with the barrel pointing towards the sky. A police officer can be heard shouting "put the gun down" through a loud hailer.

* 9.32pm: The gunman slowly lowers the gun from vertical to horizontal. He is shot dead as it aligns with police marksmen on surrounding buildings.