Mark Duggan inquest: commission investigating police shooting that sparked summer riots 'not fit for purpose'
Death in 2011 in Tottenham led to widespread rioting across London and England
The commission investigating the police shooting that sparked the summer riots was accused of being incompetent and not fit for purpose today.
A pre-hearing into the inquest of Mark Duggan, whose death led to widespread violence in London and across other cities in 2011, also heard that the coroner may take the very rare step of granting the jury anonymity.
Mr Duggan was under surveillance when the minicab he was travelling in was stopped by armed police and he was shot by an officer who said he was sure the 29-year-old was holding a handgun despite supporters' claims that he was unarmed
Today, the hearing was told that – despite initially promising a report by November 2011 – the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) had still not completed its work.
Michael Mansfield QC, for the Duggan family, said: “This is intolerable. It cannot be allowed to go along the same lines. This is, we say, malpractice. This report has to be finalised.”
“We say the reason is because there has been incompetence from the beginning,” added the barrister.
He complained that key aspects of the investigation – such as injuries to Mr Duggan, markings on his jacket, event reconstruction and the line of sight to where his gun was said to have been found – had been started late and there was an "appalling omission" in ascertaining whether there was aerial images of the scene.
"They're just not fit for purpose," he told assistant deputy coroner, Judge Keith Cutler.
The IPCC, which has already disclosed a large number of files to the inquiry team, was given until 13 May to deliver a copy of its investigation report in advance of the start of the inquest in September.
Robin Tam QC, representing the commission, said it had been delayed by matters such as the retrial of the man accused of supplying the gun to Mr Duggan. Last month Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, 30, was jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of supplying the BBM Bruni Model 92 handgun.
The pre-hearing was also told that a number of police officers involved in the case would be requesting anonymity.
Judge Cutler revealed that he was also considering doing the same for the jury – where they would be referred to by letter rather than name in court - a move sometimes granted in criminal trials but exceptionally rare in inquests.
"It's very important that those who are on the jury should feel that they are able to concentrate on the evidence, to come to their conclusions without them feeling in any way uncomfortable that their names might be known to anyone involved in this matter,” he said.
However, Mr Mansfield insisted such a move should only be made in “exceptional cases where there could be threats”, adding: “We say that does not apply in this case.”
Leslie Thomas, also representing the Duggan family, continued: "The jury might believe that they are being anonymised because of their safety, potentially there is some level of risk to them. That's a dangerous road to go down. It could lead to prejudice.”
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