Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

IPCC man admits shooting 'mistake'

IPCC investigator Colin Sparrow has admitted misinformation was released on the shooting of Mark Duggan, whose funeral was held in Wood Green
IPCC investigator Colin Sparrow has admitted misinformation was released on the shooting of Mark Duggan, whose funeral was held in Wood Green

The lead investigator for the police watchdog inquiry into the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan was forced to admit a "mistake" was made in releasing information that he had fired at officers first.

At a pre-inquest hearing into the death of the 29-year-old in Tottenham, north London, on August 4, Michael Mansfield QC, representing Mr Duggan's family, grilled Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigator Colin Sparrow about the lack of information to his relatives so far.

Mr Mansfield told the hearing at North London Coroner's Court: "My first question is, you appreciate the anxiety that the family have about the investigation?

"And you are aware at least one of the reasons is the misinformation that was broadcast at the beginning, close to the time Mark Duggan met his death. Misinformation suggesting some form of shoot-out, and you accept that was a serious mistake?"

Mr Sparrow replied: "It wasn't accurate."

Mr Mansfield added: "It was a mistake, wasn't it?" Mr Sparrow said: "It was a mistake."

Mr Mansfield, who is also representing Mr Duggan's fiancee Semone Wilson, and a second woman, Precious Douaihy, went on: "The problem for the family is a complete breakdown in confidence for this investigation.

"While normally this question might not have to be asked because confidence is automatic, on this occasion, from the beginning, there has been misinformation, a lack of information, and conflicting information."

Mr Mansfield asked Mr Sparrow why the family had not been given an interim report made by the pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination on Mr Duggan. He said that in all his experience he had "never come across a situation in which the pathology has not been provided to the family" within a month of the death of their relative.

But Mr Sparrow told the court the report consisted only of a cause of death and it had been given verbally.

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