Beds, Herts & Bucks

Josh Pitt: Knifeman shot by police 'lawfully killed'

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Media captionArmed officers were dispatched to Josh Pitt's Luton flat

A knife-wielding man shot by police after imprisoning his fiancée in his flat was lawfully killed, an inquest has concluded.

Armed police were sent to Josh Pitt's address in Luton at about 14:00 GMT on 9 November 2016.

Ampthill Coroner's Court heard Katherine Moore called 999 after he assaulted her, locking her in the flat.

The jury said that Mr Pitt, 24, posed an "immediate and imminent threat" to her and the police.

Following the inquest, Ms Moore said: "I want Josh to be remembered for the caring and loving person he was.

"I want people to know that the way he was that day was not his normal self and it was down to his breakdown."

The inquest heard that he had been brandishing knives during a stand-off with police.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Josh Pitt, 24, died after being shot by armed police in Luton in November 2016

Ms Moore had called to report she had been beaten and locked inside their flat at Tracey Court, Hibbert Street, while he went to the shops.

Mr Pitt had returned home to find Ms Moore attempting to barricade herself inside a bedroom. He locked the front door, trapping them inside the flat.

Firearms officers knocked down the door and an officer told the inquest Mr Pitt had threatened to stab them, Ms Moore and himself when they entered.

He had been ordered by the officers to drop the knives, but refused.


The 999 call

Mr Pitt's fiancée Ms Moore told the 999 call handler, Neil Chapel, that Mr Pitt shouted "she's my lover, I will kill her".

"He sounded out of control and extremely aggressive," said Mr Chapel.

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Image caption After the hearing, Ms Moore said she believed Mr Pitt had been "having a breakdown"

She was advised to barricade herself in to one room of the house, and said: "I can't block the door, he is too strong for me".

She added that she wanted to jump out of the window of the first floor flat to escape, saying: "I just want to get away".

After the hearing, Ms Moore said she believed Mr Pitt had been "having a breakdown" and the police should have arrived sooner.

She said: "Had they got to me sooner, Josh would still be with me."

Ms Moore said her boyfriend had a "troubled and difficult childhood and struggled with his mental health".

She described him as having "a big heart but he did have his issues" and he did not like taking his medication.


A taser used by the officers attempting to restrain Mr Pitt failed to work and a bullet was then shot into his chest from close range, the inquest heard.

He died later in hospital from the gunshot wound to the chest.

Bedfordshire Police said it was "vital that such incidents are independently investigated".

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Three police units including armed officers were dispatched to the Luton flat

Deputy Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) had found there was "no indication at any stage of the investigation that firearms officers breached the standards of professional behaviour".

Bedfordshire Police Federation (BDF) said after the hearing: "No armed officer ever wants to have to make that split-second decision to have to use lethal force."

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption The inquest heard that he had been brandishing knives during a stand-off with police

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