Mark Duggan: Police marksman 'wrong over fatal shot'

Mark Duggan Mark Duggan was shot dead in Tottenham in August 2011, sparking riots that spread across England

The police marksman who shot Mark Duggan dead "simply got it wrong" when he said the first shot struck the 29-year-old's chest, an inquest heard.

Pathologist Professor Derrick Pounder, who carried out a second post-mortem examination on Mr Duggan, said officer V53 fired two shots.

The first shot hit the arm and the second struck the chest, Prof Pounder told the Royal Courts of Justice.

This contradicts the police marksman who said the first shot hit the chest.

Counsel to the inquest into Mr Duggan's death, Ashley Underwood QC, responded by saying: "That's contrary to what V53 says."

'Couldn't be sure'

Prof Pounder told jurors: "My conclusion is the first shot, the non-fatal shot, was to the arm, and the second shot, the fatal shot, was to the chest."

He pointed out that when the shooter was later asked to clarify what order the shots came in he expressed less certainty than he did in his initial statement.

"He said he couldn't be 100% sure but that's what he thought," Prof Pounder said.

"I take the view that he simply got it wrong."

Mr Duggan was shot when the taxi in which he was travelling was stopped by armed police in Tottenham, north London, in August 2011, sparking riots across the city.

One shot hit him in the right bicep, and the other, fatal, blow hit the right side of his chest, hitting his aorta and exiting the left side of his back.

Mr Duggan was being watched by officers involved in investigating a gang known to use firearms and violence, police have told the inquest.

The pathologist told the inquest that when Mr Duggan received the shot to the arm he was "more or less upright", adding: "The other shot certainly occurred when he was significantly bent forward."

'Evidence inconsistencies'

He said it was "not very likely" that Mr Duggan would have been able to throw a gun as far as it has been claimed.

He added that there have been "inconsistencies in the evidence that's been given" and said he disagreed with a lot of what has been said previously.

Prof Jonathan Clasper, a surgeon, said that when he first became involved he was "asked to assume that [Mr Duggan] was holding a pistol".

He said he was told the firearm was found approximately 14ft (4.3m) from Mr Duggan.

Having looked at Mr Duggan's wounds and "by knowledge of what the arm does", the surgeon said the 29-year-old "couldn't have been pointing a gun at someone when he was shot in the arm".

He said there has not been any evidence to go any further than to say Mr Duggan was "slightly stooped", adding that he does not think anyone can be "that accurate" about his posture.

Prof Clasper added that if Mr Duggan had been raising his arm when he was shot, he could have continued to raise it afterwards.

The inquest was adjourned until Monday.

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