14 Nov 2013

The critical five seconds that may decide the Mark Duggan inquest

Five seconds may be all that matters.

Remember the Mark Duggan inquest? It’s been rolling on as the weeks have passed without much media attention.

It deserves more, especially given it was the event which triggered the 2010 riots. And there are enough still around nervous about the possible consequences if the verdict goes a certain way. 


Well, the hearing has reached a crucial stage – the search for an explanation as to how a gun in a sock is found 7.35 metres away on the other side of railings after Duggan was shot, and not one person saw how it got there.

Today two experts were questioned about the possibilities.

The experts were agreed on one thing: that Mark Duggan would have remained conscious for probably around five to six seconds from the moment a police officer shot him in the chest.

And what could he have done in that time?

According to one, it would have been impossible for the act of throwing the gun to have a spasm or involuntary reaction to being shot.

Equally it was “very unlikely” Duggan could have chucked the gun after being shot. But if he was in the process of throwing the gun when then the officer opened fire?

Well, according to Colonel Jonathan Clasper, a person when shot is capable of carrying on moving for maybe up to five or six seconds.

Could that be the explanation?

The other expert Professor Derrick Pounder had doubts. He regarded this scenario as “highly unlikely”, although still in the realm of possibility.

Of course this assumes Duggan had a gun in the first place. And that may be the crux of this case.

Five seconds is all that may matter.

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