Settlement is confidential at request of family whose case rested on ‘legality’ of shooting
The family of Mark Duggan, whose killing sparked civil unrest across England in 2011, have settled a high court claim against the Metropolitan police.
Duggan, 29, was shot dead in Tottenham, north London, after armed officers intercepted the minicab in which he was travelling on the basis of intelligence that he was carrying a gun. A pistol was later found about seven metres away from the minicab.
Duggan’s shooting in August 2011, by an officer known only as V53, sparked riots in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester and other English cities for nearly a week.
His family have now settled their damages claim against the Met, which has made no admission of liability for Duggan’s death, the high court heard on Thursday.
At a hearing in London, Mr Justice Stewart approved the terms of the settlement, which is confidential at the request of the Duggan family. The judge said the family’s case concerned the “legality” of the shooting.
He said, had the case gone to trial, the court would have examined whether Duggan was holding a gun when he was fatally shot, adding that there was “disputed expert evidence” about whether the pistol found nearby could have been thrown by Duggan during the shooting.
The court would also have had to examine whether V53 had a “reasonable belief that Mr Duggan was holding a gun when he was shot”, Stewart said.
In a statement after the hearing, the Duggan family said: “As a result of a formal mediation process in September 2019, the parties were able to agree a mutually satisfactory settlement of the claims.
“The terms of the settlement are confidential at the request of the Duggan family. The settlement was made after both parties engaged in mediation and reached an agreed position without acceptance of liability on the part of the MPS or its officers.
“Both sides have agreed to bring all proceedings concerning the death of Mr Duggan to a conclusion and move forward in the best interests of all those involved.”
Duggan was shot twice by V53 on 4 August 2011 – one of the shots, which hit him in the chest, was fatal.
In 2014, an inquest jury concluded Duggan, who jumped from the taxi, had dropped the firearm on to grass as soon as the car came to a stop – but that, as the officer “honestly believed” Mr Duggan still had a gun at the time he was shot, he had been “lawfully killed”.
His family were outraged at the inquest verdict and took legal action but their bid to overturn the inquest’s verdict was dismissed by the high court and the court of appeal.