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Police witness: 'Mark Duggan was shot in self-defence'

SHOOTING SCENE: The Tottenham road where Mark Duggan was fatally shot

MARK DUGGAN was poised to aim a gun at an officer moments before he was shot dead by police, a jury has heard.

At an inquest held at the Royal Courts of Justice, the counsel Ashley Underwood QC today gave the jury a summary of the events leading to Duggan’s death in Ferry Lane, Tottenham on August 4, 2011.

In the opening statement, the court heard how an armed officer known as V53, said he could see the 29-year-old carry a gun wrapped in a sock in his right hand.

As Duggan raised his arm, the officer feared he was about to shoot at officers, and claims he fired the first shot in self-defence, and then a second because the "gun kept coming out."

The Tottenham resident suffered wounds to the bicep and chest, with the latter killing him after the bullet pierced through his heart.

Police stopped a minicab carrying Duggan as part of an operation by Trident Gang Crime Command and were aiming to arrest him and not kill him, Underwood said.

Underwood read out a list of issues for the jury to consider, including whether each shot taken by the officers was necessary and whether a planned police operation minimised the need for lethal force.

Despite “strenuous” attempts to resuscitate Duggan by the police, the 29-year-old died at the scene at 6.41pm, approximately 29 minutes after the shots are believed to have been fired.

No guns were found on Duggan or near to his dead body, but in fact up to 20 metres away from the scene on the grass with one bullet in the magazine.

Duggan’s killing was a major factor of the 2011 summer riots.

Leading up to the incident, police believed Duggan was travelling from Vicarage Road, in Leyton, east London, where he had gone to pick up a gun from Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, to Tottenham’s Broadwater Farm Estate.

Biological experts, who analysed his body after he was killed, said Duggan had ecstasy in his bloodstream.

An anonymous note was sent last year to the Mr Duggan's family and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner claiming that a police informant had told a police contact that he could persuade Duggan to get the gun, allowing officers to arrest him.

However, the police said no evidence supported the letter’s allegations and was an attempt to discredit the officer who acted as handler for the informant.

The inquest is set to continue on Thursday and is expected to last two months.

Duggan’s mother Pam said before the inquest that the police had told her "nothing but lies, misinformation, and delay.”

She said: “We hope that the truth will finally come out for the sake of all his family, not least his young children.”

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