26 Sep 2013

Mark Duggan inquest hears claims he was ‘set up’ to be shot

Senior Home Affairs Correspondent

The inquest into the death of Mark Duggan is shown an anonymous letter claiming he was shot after being set up by a police informant.

The letter was sent to the Metropolitan police commissioner, the home secretary and Mark Duggan’s family a year after he was shot dead by police. His killing sparked riots across England in August 2011.

The inquest into his death heard today that the letter was a rambling tale of gangland murders, protection rackets, informants, celebrity gangsters, police corruption and entrapment. A copy of the letter was sent to the Duggan family.

Today at the inquest a police officer assigned to investigate the allegations it contained, dismissed it as a complete fabrication.

Senior Internal Affairs Officer Detective Inspector Katie Lilburn told the inquest jury that she could find no record of a gang leader named in the letter ever being a police informant.

The letter claimed that Duggan was aked to get hold of a “strap” (street slang for a gun), that was intended for use in a revenge killing. It went on to say that Duggan was deliberately persuaded to pick up the gun and take a taxi to hand it over to a “delivery boy”:

“Little did Duggan know that he was being set up by [the alleged informant] and Trident [the Metropolitan police anti-gun crime unit] and was being driven towards his death.”

False claims

Dealing in turn with these and numerous other claims, DI Lilburn told the hearing that most had turned out to be false.

The inquest heard that Scotland Yard found DNA on the sticky part of an envelope, leading them to the letter’s author – a convicted criminal.

His aim, the jury was told, was to discredit a detective who’d worked on the case. The Crown Prosecution Service is now considering whether to bring charges of peverting the course of justice.

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