IPCC: We were wrong about shooting that led to riots

None of Mark Duggan's DNA, fingerprints or blood found on gun recovered in Tottenham

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has admitted it "was a mistake" to announce that Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police officers last August sparking widespread rioting, had been involved in a firefight with officers.

At a pre-inquest hearing at North London Coroner's Court yesterday, IPCC investigator Colin Sparrow was forced to admit that none of Mr Duggan's DNA, blood or fingerprints had been found on a non-police issue gun recovered from the scene in Tottenham, north London, where he was shot and killed on 4 August.

Michael Mansfield QC said his clients had suffered a "complete breakdown in confidence for this investigation".

The IPCC said in a statement that they had asked the firearms officers involved to attend tape-recorded interviews next month "to see whether witnesses need to be asked to clarify their evidence".

In a courtroom packed with Mr Duggan's friends and family, including his fiancée and mother of his children Semone Wilson, Mr Mansfield asked Mr Sparrow: "My first question is, do you appreciate the anxiety the family have about the investigation?

"And are you aware at least that one of the reasons is the misinformation that was broadcast at the beginning, close to the time Mark Duggan met his death? Misinformation suggesting some form of shoot-out, and do you accept that was a serious mistake?"

Mr Sparrow replied: "It wasn't accurate."

Mr Mansfield added: "It was a mistake, wasn't it?"

Mr Sparrow then said: "It was a mistake."

The hearing was told that a gun initially linked to Mr Duggan was actually found 14ft from the crime scene in Ferry Lane, on the other side of a fence.

Mr Mansfield said witnesses had claimed to see a police officer throw the weapon there. He asked Mr Sparrow: "How on earth did the gun get over a fence 14ft away? Was it thrown there by a police officer?"

Mr Sparrow said: "That's a suggestion, yes." The inquest proper will now begin in September next year, and will last between four and eight weeks.

After the hearing, the IPCC released a statement in which it said that Home Office pathologist Dr Simon Poole also found a second bullet had struck Mr Duggan's upper right arm.

It said two police-issue bullets and two police-issue shell casings had been recovered from the scene.

David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, said: "This was the first time the public were made aware of key elements of the case, particularly involving the gun. A gulf has opened up between the IPCC and Mr Duggan's family, as well as the public in general. If the IPCC are not acting on behalf of Mr Duggan's family, then who are they acting for?"

It was anger of the police's lack of contact with Mr Duggan's family that prompted 120 people to march from Tottenham's Broadwater Farm estate to the local police station, which became the starting point for the outbreak of social unrest that spread across London and then to other parts of the country over the next three nights.

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

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral