Mark Duggan ‘was not a gangster’

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Siân Ruddick reports on the Kevin Hutchinson-Foster conviction and Carole Duggan’s powerful contribution at the DtRtP ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’ meeting

Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, the man accused of supplying a gun to Mark Duggan, is awaiting sentence after being found guilty.

Police evidence states that Kevin handed the weapon over around 15 minutes before Mark was shot dead by police on 4 August 2011.

The inquest into Mark’s death is due to be held in November.

This was the second trial into the case. The first one ended in a hung jury. More questions have been raised by the case than answered by it.

Kevin pled not guilty to the charges. He told the court that he had the gun on 29 July after borrowing it to assault a man in a barbers shop in Dalston, east London, but returned it to its owner the same day.

Reports of that attack were made to police, but no arrests were made.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is now looking into that investigation.


The police claim that Mark was holding that same gun when he got out of a mini cab after armed police stopped and surrounded it.

DNA from Kevin, and blood from the man he attacked, were found on the gun. Mark’s DNA was not found on the gun.

The police officer who shot Mark dead, known only as V53, told the first trial that he could see the gun, which was wrapped in a sock, being held by Mark.

No DNA from anyone was found on the sock.

At Kevin’s trial expert witness Jonathan Clasper said an involuntary movement by Mark after he was shot would not explain why the gun was found so far from his body.

Another expert, Dr Simon Poole, also queried V53’s evidence. He said the way the shots had entered Mark’s body raised questions about whether Mark was facing officers and pointing a gun when he was shot.

Just hours after Mark was killed an IPCC spokesperson said, “We understand the officer was shot first before the male was shot”. This has since proved to be untrue.

The police claimed that the bullet lodged in the radio of a firearms officer had been fired by Mark. Ballistics tests revealed it had come from a police-issue weapon.

A video taken from a flat overlooking the scene appears to show firearms officers on the other side of a fence in the moments immediately after Mark was shot. The police say the gun was found there.

Mark’s family hope that the inquest into his death will expose the truth about how he died.

Carole Duggan, Mark’s aunt, spoke about his killing at a 90-strong meeting in central London hosted by Defend the Right to Protest on Monday of this week.

“Mark was an ordinary working class guy, he lived for his children.

“He wasn’t suicidal, yet they try to tell us he got out of a car with a gun that had one bullet in it to face 31 armed police.

“Mark was not a gangster, he was ambushed as he was going home. You’d hope that in this day and age his colour wouldn’t matter, but institutional racism is getting worse.

“The police and certain sections of the media said our family started the riots.

“We didn’t start the riots, the police started the riots. We have to pull together. It’s the only was we’ll beat the state.”

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