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‘Mark Duggan’s death could have been avoided’

INVESTIGATION: The death of Mark Duggan and the London riots that followed could have been avoided, a Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed

THE DEATH of Mark Duggan and the riots that followed could have been avoided, a Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed.

One of the newspaper’s investigative reporters, David Rose, has said he has found evidence that failings on the part of the now-defunct Trident gun crime unit led to the shooting of the 29-year-old on August 4, 2011.

They could have instead focused on Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, the man serving time for supplying Duggan with a gun, who the family believe may have been a police informant and was being ‘protected by the police’.

Hutchinson-Foster had previously faced gun offences himself, but the charges against him were dropped last minute at his Old Bailey trial, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Both the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have not explained why, the newspaper said.

The CPS says it ‘cannot locate’ the paperwork which set out the reasons for this decision.

In addition to this, Hutchinson-Foster used the BBM Bruni Model 92 handgun he gave to Duggan to ‘pistol-whip’ a man just a week before Duggan died.

Police had CCTV footage of the assault but did not act on this allowing Hutchinson-Foster to roam free while Duggan was placed under surveillance.

In its investigation, The Mail on Sunday said it believed that the police made a mistake in monitoring Duggan – who had no criminal record – instead of Hutchinson-Foster, whom they described as a “far more serious gangland figure.”

After the shooting, police sources told reporters that Duggan was a dangerous criminal, who wanted a gun in order to avenge the death of a cousin, Kelvin Easton.

A confidential report by Superintendent Helen McMillan, a specialist tactical firearms commander, found no evidence of this.

She said that Duggan intended only to transport the weapon to a ‘safe house’, not to use it himself.

"There was no specific intelligence at the time regarding any particular intent to use firearms by any individual, including Mark Duggan," her report notes.

If Hutchinson-Foster had been picked up by police, his gun might never have found its way into Duggan’s possession and he might never have been shot.

The gun had also been used a month earlier to shoot a man in the back in an Asda supermarket – a crime that remains unsolved.

A gun had previously been found at Hutchinson-Foster’s house in 2008, which remained on file.

McMillan’s report is one of 1,200 documents that had been considered by the IPCC ahead of the publication of its report into the shooting.

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