Man convicted of supplying Mark Duggan with gun blames Met for London 2011 riots


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The Independent Online

The man convicted of supplying Mark Duggan with a gun denied giving the 29-year-old the weapon on the day of his death and blamed the Met police for the subsequent 2011 London riots, a court heard on Tuesday.

Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, giving evidence via videolink from Maidstone Prison, admitted speaking to his friend several times via their mobile phones on 4 August in the run-up to Duggan's fatal shooting by armed officers, who claimed he was holding a weapon and preparing to fire.

Hutchinson-Foster said the calls were made because Duggan wanted him to follow him to Tottenham to buy cannabis.

Ian Stern QC, representing the armed officers, said: "Excuse my cynicism Mr Hutchinson-Foster but you were quite capable of buying your own drugs because you had just come out of prison for drugs offences."

Hutchinson-Foster, who was on licence as part of a prison sentence at the time, told the court he was getting ready to go out and pick up one of his many girlfriends. "I never met Mark that day," he said.

Hutchinson-Foster, 30, was sentenced to 11 years' jail after a jury at a retrial convicted him of supplying the gun to Duggan on 4 August 2011.

When asked by Ian Stern QC, representing the armed officers, why Duggan wanted a gun, Hutchinson-Foster replied: "Is that meant to be a trick question or something? How would I know?"

Police claim Duggan travelled in a minicab from Tottenham to Leyton to pick up the gun, and that the two men were in repeated mobile phone contact throughout the trip until a four minute period of phone silence up to 6pm. During a four-minute stop in Leyton, Duggan was seen being handed a shoebox. The cab driver later identified "a man fitting Hutchinson-Foster's description" but could not subsequently pick him out at an identification parade.

Hutchinson-Foster told the court he had used the gun, later found between 10 and 20 feet away from Duggan's body, while assaulting a barber a few days earlier. He pistol-whipped Peter Osadebay at the Lagoon salon in Dalston, east London, on 29 July and traces of Osadebay's blood and Hutchinson-Foster's DNA were found on the gun when it was retrieved from Ferry Lane, scene of Duggan's fatal shooting, on 4 August.

The shoebox was found in the minicab and had both Duggan's and Hutchinson-Foster's fingerprints on it, as well as those of Desire Cox, Hutchinson-Foster's girlfriend at the time. The gun was in a black sock with the toe end ripped to expose the barrel, and the heel open to expose the cocking lever at the back.

Hutchinson-Foster said it was "likely" the gun he used to attack Osadebay was the same one found close to where Duggan was shot but said he did not know how it came to be there and refused repeatedly to name the person he said supplied him with the gun.

"After 29 July what happened to the gun was no longer my concern," he said adding that he returned the gun to his supplier on the same day.

Hugo Keith QC, representing the Metropolitan Police, told Hutchinson-Foster: "Your actions led to unparalleled disorder and remarkable, extraordinary events in London."

Hutchinson-Foster said: "That was down to the negligence of the police, not down to me," a response that brought cheers in court from Mr Duggan's family.

The court heard further details of Hutchinson-Foster's background and that he often slept with "up to four women a day". On 4 August, Hutchinson-Foster said he had been at Ms Cox's house in Birchall Road for several hours and that he was "in bed, but not sleeping".

Following his arrest in October 2011 Hutchinson-Foster had said to officers: "If you live by the gun then you die by the bullet," according to excerpts from his police interviews that were read out in court.

Hutchinson-Foster told the court he intends to appeal his conviction following the conclusion of the inquest.

The hearing continues.