May 22 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Kevin Hutchinson-Foster has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of supplying a gun to Mark Duggan, whose fatal shooting by police sparked riots in London.
Hutchinson-Foster was convicted today of passing the gun to Mr Duggan after a retrial at the Old Bailey. A jury previously failed to reach a verdict at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
During the trial the court heard that Mr Duggan collected the BBM Bruni Model 92 handgun just 15 minutes before he was shot dead on August 4, 2011.
The 29-year-old’s death in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, sparked riots that swept across London and other English towns and cities.
Hutchinson-Foster, 30, had denied a charge of “selling or transferring a prohibited firearm” to Mr Duggan between July 28 and August 5, 2011.
A jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court could not reach a verdict after a trial last year, but after a retrial at the Old Bailey, a jury of seven women and five men today convicted him by majority verdict.
During both trials armed police, who gave evidence anonymously, described how they opened fire on Mr Duggan because they saw him get out of the cab holding a loaded gun.
The officer who shot Mr Duggan twice - once in the chest and once in the arm - said he fired because he thought he was going to shoot him and his colleagues.
Mr Duggan, who was under police surveillance that day and the day before, had gone in the minicab to Leyton, where he collected the gun in a shoebox from Hutchinson-Foster, before continuing to Tottenham.
The cab was pulled over by armed police in four unmarked cars in a “hard stop”, and as Mr Duggan got out clutching the gun, he was shot.
During the trial, prosecutor Edward Brown QC told the court: “The death of Mr Duggan has been regarded as the event that sparked the riots in north London, which then spread across London and then to other cities and which attracted widespread publicity in the United Kingdom and abroad.”
But he told the jury it was not their task to decide the “rights and wrongs” of Mr Duggan’s shooting, which will be examined at the inquest into his death, set to take place in September.
Hutchinson-Foster has admitted using the same gun to beat barber Peter Osadebay at a barber’s shop in Dalston, east London, just six days before Mr Duggan’s death. The defendant claimed this was why his DNA was found on the gun when it was retrieved from Ferry Lane on August 4, along with traces of Mr Osadebay’s blood.
The gun was found five metres from Mr Duggan’s body, on a grass verge behind railings.
The shoebox, found in the minicab, had both Mr Duggan’s and the defendant’s fingerprints on it, while mobile phone evidence showed they were in contact with each other in the run up to the shooting.
But Hutchinson-Foster, a cannabis user with convictions for possession of cocaine and heroin with intent to supply, claimed Mr Duggan had wanted his help to sell some cannabis.
He said he collected the firearm from someone else so he could beat Mr Osadebay on July 29, but had returned it on the same day.
The jury heard testimonies from the CO19 officers who shot Mr Duggan.
The man who opened fire on the 29-year-old, known only as V53, said he was sure Mr Duggan was holding a handgun.
He shot Mr Duggan once in the chest, then a second time, hitting his right bicep. Afterwards he went to treat a fellow officer who had been hit by a stray bullet, but realising it had hit his radio, started giving CPR to Mr Duggan.
Other officers told the court Mr Duggan was hiding something in his hand when the cab was stopped and saw him raise what appeared to be a gun as he got out.
But the minicab driver, who said he would never be able to wipe the incident from his mind, said he did not see Mr Duggan raise his arms towards officers.