Mark Duggan: No verdict in Kevin Hutchinson-Foster gun trial

Kevin Hutchinson-Foster denies providing Mr Duggan with a gun
Image caption Kevin Hutchinson-Foster denies providing Mr Duggan with a gun

A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the trial of a man charged with supplying a gun to Mark Duggan before he was shot dead by police.

Mr Duggan, 29, was shot by police in Tottenham, north London, on 4 August 2011 and a gun was found nearby, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, 30, had denied selling or transferring a prohibited firearm to Mr Duggan.

Mr Duggan collected the illegal gun before he was shot, the court heard.

His death sparked riots in Tottenham, which led to disorder in a number of English cities and towns.

A re-trial will be held at a date to be set and an administrative hearing will take place on 2 November.

Following the trial, Mr Duggan's brother Shaun Hall said in a statement: "As a family we still are no closer to finding out the truth about why Mark was killed."

DNA found

During the trial, which started on 18 September, the prosecution alleged Mr Duggan had collected the BBM Bruni Model 92 handgun 15 minutes before he was shot dead.

Image caption Mark Duggan's death sparked a riot in Tottenham

Armed police, who gave evidence anonymously, described for the first time publicly how they had opened fire on Mr Duggan on Ferry Lane because they saw him get out of a cab holding a loaded gun.

Mr Duggan, who was under police surveillance that day and the day before, had gone in the minicab to Leyton, east London, where he collected the gun in a shoebox from Mr Hutchinson-Foster, before going on to Tottenham, prosecutors said.

The cab was pulled over by armed police in four unmarked cars in what is termed a "hard stop" and, according to police, Mr Duggan got out with the gun in his hand, prompting them to shoot him.

But Mr Hutchinson-Foster, of no fixed address, denied selling or transferring a prohibited firearm to Mr Duggan between 28 July and 5 August 2011.

He claimed his DNA was found on the gun because he had used it six days earlier to beat a man, but said he returned it the same day.

The accused man claimed he and Mr Duggan had been in mobile phone contact with each other because Mr Duggan wanted his help in setting up a drug deal.

During the trial, the police account - that Mr Duggan was holding a gun when shot - was questioned.

The jury heard the CO19 officer who shot Mr Duggan said the 29-year-old emerged from the minicab with a gun, took a couple of steps and raised it as if to fire.

Fingerprints on shoebox

But another officer, the first to reach him as he fell to the ground, said he could find no gun either on or under Mr Duggan's body.

In a statement after the shooting, he did not say that Mr Duggan was holding a gun, he only mentioned it when he gave a fuller statement later, and when he gave evidence in court.

Image caption Police sealed off the area in Tottenham where Mark Duggan was shot

Mr Duggan's fingerprints were found on the shoebox allegedly used to carry the gun, but neither his prints nor his DNA were found on the gun itself or the sock.

A woman who lived close to the scene gave evidence which contradicted the police.

"Miss J" told the court she saw officers pulling the body of Mr Duggan from inside the cab and placing it on the pavement.

She said she later saw an officer emerging from the back of the minicab, holding a handgun in his upturned hand, before he wrapped it in a black cloth and put it inside an evidence bag.

Mr Duggan's brother Shaun Hall said in a statement: "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."

Legal group Inquest, representing Mr Duggan's family said: "It is now imperative that the inquest takes place as soon as possible."

A pre-inquest review hearing is due to take place next Tuesday at Barnet Coroner's Court.

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