May 25 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Mark Duggan raised a gun he had been hiding under his jacket just before police shot him, one of the officers involved told a court today.
Mr Duggan, 29, whose death last year sparked widespread riots, was hiding something in his right hand when the minicab he was in was stopped by police in north London, the CO19 officer, known as W70, said.
He told the trial of Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, who is accused of providing Mr Duggan with a handgun minutes before he was killed on August 4 last year, that Mr Duggan started to get out and raised the gun, before he was shot twice.
The officer told Snaresbrook Crown Court Mr Duggan, who was less than five metres away from him, was “stooped” as they surrounded the cab and identified themselves.
He said the raid’s target could be seen hiding something under the left-hand side of his jacket, in a pocket or in the waistband of his trousers.
“It very much appeared he was concealing something in his right hand with that jacket,” W70 said. “As he was pivoting in that position (to exit the car), concealing something in his right hand, at the same time he has very quickly drawn out his right hand from the left-hand side of his waistband and inside his jacket.
“He was holding a self-loading pistol or a handgun. As he has quickly drawn his right hand up and out of his jacket I have heard two shots from my left.”
He said Mr Duggan fell to his knees on the ground clutching his chest before W70 pushed him to the ground.
Prosecutor Edward Brown QC asked the officer, who had four years of firearms unit experience at the time of the shooting: “Do you have any doubt as to what was in Mark Duggan’s hand?”
He replied: “No, I believe it was a handgun.”
The officer said that he and another of the 12 officers involved searched Mr Duggan for a gun, without finding it. They then started giving the “limp and unresponsive” man first aid.
Stuart Denney QC, defending Hutchinson-Foster, asked what happened to the gun after Mr Duggan was shot.
“What happened to the firearm?” Mr Denney asked. “Because at this time the distance between you is zero to three metres as you go towards him.”
“I have no idea,” W70 replied, adding: “I have no recollection of what happened to the firearm after I saw it exiting the jacket.”
Kevin Hutchinson-Foster is on trial accused of passing the gun to Mr Duggan that same day.
The 30-year-old, of no fixed abode, is charged with “selling or transferring a prohibited firearm” to Mr Duggan between July 28 and August 5 2011. He denies passing the modified BBM Bruni Model 92 handgun to Mr Duggan, contrary to the Firearms Act 1968.
Mr Denney asked W70 about the fact that his initial “short-form” report of the shooting after it happened did not mention Mr Duggan raising a gun but a fuller report 48 hours later did.
“Would it be entirely incorrect to suggest that you left out details such as that until you and your brother officers could check you were all singing from the same hymn sheet?” he asked.
“That is not true, they are deliberately brief,” the officer replied.
The court previously heard that the gun was later found in Ferry Lane.
Mr Duggan had been under surveillance on August 4, as well as the previous day, the court previously heard. The prosecution claims he travelled in a minicab to collect the gun from Hutchinson-Foster in Leyton, east London, before continuing to Tottenham.
It is alleged that Mr Duggan travelled via minicab from Hoxton to Leyton where he collected the gun in a shoebox, then continued his journey until he was stopped by police.
The prosecution has said Hutchinson-Foster admitted using the same gun in an attack on a barber six days previously.
He beat Peter Osadebay using the gun at the Lagoon Salon on Kingsland Road, Dalston, east London, on July 29 2011.
Traces of Mr Osadebay’s blood were found on the gun when it was retrieved from Ferry Lane on August 4, as was Hutchinson-Foster’s DNA, the court heard.
The shoebox was found in the minicab and had both Mr Duggan’s and the defendant’s fingerprints on it, as well as those of Desire Cox - Hutchinson-Foster’s girlfriend at the time.
The gun was in a black sock with the toe end ripped to expose the barrel, and the heel open to expose the cocking lever at the back, Mr Brown said.
Ms Cox, who had been called as a prosecution witness, changed her evidence this afternoon, leaving Mr Brown to suggest Hutchinson-Foster had asked her to change her story.
Her evidence concerned a River Island box that the prosecution says, the gun was in when it was given to Duggan.
She denied ever giving Hutchinson-Foster such a box, although she admitted she may have had one in her house.
She blamed the information in her statement on being tired when it was written, having had a baby a month before speaking to police.
Miss Cox admitted she had spoken to her ex-lover on numerous occasions on the telephone since his arrest and before she made a statement to police at her house in July this year.
“You have been contacted by him or someone on his behalf to change your evidence,” Mr Brown said.
“I didn’t change it,” she replied.
“At that time (July) I had just had a baby. I was tired and to be honest I just wanted them (the police) to leave. I probably didn’t read it properly.”
Mr Denney said: “What is suggested by the prosecution in this case is that afternoon or in the early evening Hutchinson-Foster went out of your house carrying a River Island show box and came back without it. Would you recollect if such an event had happened?”
She replied that she would and it had not, adding: “He left in the evening and did not come back.”
The trial continues on Monday.