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Mark Duggan's family loses challenge over lawful killing conclusion

The family of a man whose fatal shooting by a police marksman sparked nationwide riots have lost a challenge over an inquest jury's conclusion that he was lawfully killed.

Mark Duggan's mother, Pamela, had asked the Court of Appeal to make an order quashing the verdict.

But three judges in London rejected her case on Wednesday.

At a recent hearing, Hugh Southey QC, representing Mrs Duggan, said the family's case was that the verdict on Mr Duggan's August 2011 death was not "safe".

But they were not seeking a fresh inquest.

Mrs Duggan challenged a decision by three High Court judges in October 2014 that the inquest jury was legally entitled to bring in its 8-2 majority verdict.

The jury decided in January 2014 that the 29-year-old was lawfully killed by a police marksman in Tottenham, north London.

Mrs Duggan was not present for the ruling by Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Davis and Lord Justice Underhill.

Armed officers intercepted the minicab Mr Duggan was travelling in on the basis of intelligence that he was part of a gang and had collected a gun.

He was shot twice by an officer known as V53. One of the hits was fatal.

The jury concluded that Mr Duggan, who jumped from the taxi, had dropped the firearm on to some grass as soon as the minicab came to a stop - but the officer ''honestly believed'' Mr Duggan still had a gun at the time he was shot.

Mr Southey had argued that coroner Judge Keith Cutler and the High Court "fell into error".

He said the coroner "directed the jury that the lawfulness of the lethal force, and the question of whether V53 was acting in self-defence, should be judged solely by reference to V53's honest belief as to the threat posed".

He added: "They were not told that, in deciding whether the belief was honestly held, they should consider whether or not that belief was based on reasonable grounds."

Submitting that the direction was unlawful, the QC said the coroner "failed to direct the jury to consider whether V53's belief was reasonable".

But the Court of Appeal judges held that there was no need for the coroner to spell out to the jurors that, as part of their decision whether V53 honestly believed Mr Duggan had a gun and was about to use it, they needed to consider whether such a belief was reasonable.

In a summary of their decision, the court said "that consideration was, as a matter of common sense, an inevitable part of the exercise that they had to carry out".

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