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TRIAL OF KEVIN HUTCHINSON-FOSTER “FELT LIKE A TRIAL OF OUR BROTHER MARK DUGGAN”

17 October 2012

Following the end of the criminal trial of Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, the family of Mark Duggan are very concerned about the way in which the trial has been conducted, including the unjustified and untested claim by the prosecution that Mark was holding a gun when he was shot.

This was the first time that Mark’s family had heard much detail of what allegedly happened to him that day.

The Duggan family was not represented in Mr Hutchinson-Foster’s trial. This means that the evidence at the trial given by the police officers has not been challenged or tested by the family’s lawyers. Further matters that the family would want investigated and questions that they would want answers to have not been addressed.

At times during this hearing it has appeared that it has been Mark Duggan who has been on trial. This is undoubtedly unfair since the family have not had any platform to defend him or his memory.

The family is also very concerned that there may need to be a further hearing which could lead to further delays to the inquest into Mark Duggan’s death.

The lessons from Hillsborough show us more than ever how important a full and thorough investigatory process and inquest is.  It is now imperative that the inquest takes place as soon as possible.

It is the family’s position that the inquest should consider two main questions:

(1) Whether Mark Duggan was armed at the point at which he was shot.

(2) Whether it was absolutely necessary for the police to use lethal force.

Neither of these two issues have been decided by this trial.

Shaun Hall, Mark Duggan’s brother said:

“It feels like this has been the Mark Duggan trial except his family has had no representation and without being able to defend himself.

“People have been allowed to say things in court about Mark and what happened that day without being challenged. We heard things that we had never heard before.

“As a family we still are no closer to finding out the truth about why Mark was killed.”

Marcia Willis Stewart, solicitor for Mark Duggan’s family said:

“The evidence and conclusions of this trial should not prejudice and pre-empt the inquest itself.”

Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said:

“Nothing can satisfy family, community and public confidence other than a prompt, open and transparent jury inquest with the full involvement of Mark Duggan’s family.  Open justice is of fundamental importance in the case of a man shot dead by police officers.”

Mark Duggan’s family is being represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Marcia Willis Stewart of Birnberg Pierce Solicitors, Mike Mansfield QC and Adam Straw of Tooks Court Chambers, and Leslie Thomas of Garden Court Chambers.

Ends

Notes to editor:

1.  The pre-inquest review hearing concerning the death of Mark Duggan is taking place on Tuesday 23 October at Barnet Coroner’s Court.  It is open to the public.

2.  The family will not be giving interviews.

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