August 1 2014 Latest news:
by Stephen Moore
Monday, June 2, 2014
A decision on whether or not to publish the report of recommendations from the Mark Duggan inquest will be announced on Wednesday, it has been confirmed.
The Chief Coroner for England and Wales, Judge Peter Thornton QC, will take the decision on how much, if any, of the confidential report should be made public.
The report has been drawn up by Judge Keith Cutler, who presided over the inquest which found Mr Duggan had been lawfully killed by a police marksman in Tottenham in August 2011. It “expresses a number of concerns which are addressed to various authorities”, according to a spokesman for his office.
As coroner, Judge Cutler has an obligation under Schedule 5 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 to outline anything revealed in the four-month inquest, which concluded in January this year, which “gives rise to a concern that circumstances creating a risk of other deaths” may reoccur in future, and which he believes require action.
Copies of the report will be given to the Duggan family and authorities involved in the death and its aftermath, including the Metropolitan Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
But the contents of the report could remain confidential if the Chief Coroner decides not to publish it. He may also decide to release only a summary of its recommendations.
Meanwhile, Mr Duggan’s mother Pamela has won limited permission to apply for a judicial review of the inquest’s lawful killing conclusion.
She has argued that the direction given to the inquest jury by Judge Cutler about coming to a conclusion of lawful killing was inadequate.
To reach the verdict, the judge should have made it clear to them that they must conclude, on the balance of probablities, that officer V53 honestly believed Mr Duggan had a gun in his hand when he was shot, and that if that belief was mistaken, it was a reasonable mistake to have made.
As the coroner’s direction did not address either of these questions, Mr Justice Mitting agreed that, “if it should have done, it is, in consequence, arguable that the conclusion of lawful killing cannot stand”.
The hearing to decide whether or not to grant a judicial review of the lawful killing conclusion will take place before Sir Brian Leveson, the Chief Coroner and one other on July 9 and 10 in the High Court.
For the full background on the Mark Duggan inquest, see our dedicated section here.