The mother of Mark Duggan, the man whose shooting by police sparked riots across England, has told a court that his death had ended his father’s fight against cancer.
While she accepted that her son may “not have been an angel”, Pamela Duggan said that if the 29-year-old had been “involved in any wrongdoing” he should have been “brought to justice and punished”, not shot dead in Tottenham, north London, in 2011.
Mr Duggan was killed when a taxi he was travelling in was stopped by armed police. Soon after his death, rioting began across London and spread to other parts of England.
Mrs Duggan wept at the Royal Courts of Justice as her statement was read before the official inquest into the shooting. She told the hearing that her son’s death had been the “final straw” for his father Bruno Hall, who died from cancer last year.
According to Mrs Duggan’s statement, read by a lawyer for the Duggan family, Mr Hall stopped talking after his son’s death except to repeat: “They killed my son, they killed my boy.”
She added: “I believe it completely finished Bruno and he didn’t have the will or the strength to fight the cancer. He just gave up.”
Mrs Duggan said wanted to know why “my son was shot dead rather than arrested” and demanded that the officers involved “account publicly for their actions”.
The hearing heard that Mr Duggan had shot someone in the leg at a party before his death, and had been involved in supplying firearms. Detectives maintain that police intelligence in June 2011 suggested Mr Duggan was “confrontational and violent” and was a senior member of the TMD gang in Tottenham with “ready access” to guns.
The Metropolitan Police’s strategic firearms commander, Fiona Mallon, told the hearing that officers had been tipped off that Mr Duggan had been going to collect a gun from a man called Kevin Hutchinson-Foster.
A day before the shooting, officers had been told in a briefing that Mr Duggan had three guns and was attempting to obtain a fourth.
Detective Superintendent Mallon said: “I think it was a tragic outcome. I think it was sad that a man lost his life. I think that it was never the intention of the operation. Nobody wanted to see a man dead at the end of the operation. However the operation had to be authorised to keep the public safe.”
Mrs Duggan, who has been prescribed antidepressants and sleeping tablets, said: “As a mother you think you’re going to go before your child, you never think your child will go before you. No mother deserves to bury their child. I am so confused and I don’t understand why this has happened to me and my family. “
Meanwhile, a court order attempting to compel the BBC to reveal the source of footage of the aftermath of Mr Duggan’s shooting has been revoked. Judge Keith Cutler said his team had found “other ways” to access the source.
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