Man shot dead by police was not a danger to anyone, family says after inquest

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There was nothing here to suggest a “confused and frightened” man who was shot by police was “aggressive or a threat to anyone that day”, his family said after an investigative jury found him was killed illegally.

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Lewis Skelton, 31, died after being shot twice in the back by an officer rudder city ​​center when tasers To no effect, an investigative jury heard.

The Hull coroner’s court was told how Mr Skelton was carrying an ax and had failed to respond to officers’ instructions to stop before he died five years earlier.

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There were emotional scenes in court on Friday after the jury returned to a unanimous conclusion after eight hours of deliberation.

The jury has confirmed that we all knew, killing Lewis was wrong and illegal and that he should be with us today

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But Humberside Police said it was “disappointed” by the decision, pointing out that the police watchdog had cleared the officers involved and had flagged a recent change to the law, allowing them to come to conclusions about culpable homicide. It had become easy.

In a statement read out of court by his sister, Tia, Mr Skelton’s family said: “The jury has confirmed that we all knew, Lewis’ murder was wrong and it was unlawful and he should be with us today.” “

Ms Skelton said: “There was nothing that day to suggest Lewis was aggressive or a threat to anyone.

“He was confused and frightened. His last moment must have been one of terror and fear, and it is very difficult for us as a family to know.”

The family criticized reports at the time that Lewis was “a mad axeman” and “an ax wielder”.

Ms Skelton said: “Those who have seen and heard the evidence during this investigation may have realized that day in details of Lewis that could not have been further from the truth.

“We are grateful to the jury members who believed the wrong people were Humberside Police officers, not Lewis.”

The statement concluded: “What happened to Lewis torn our family apart and broke all our hearts, affecting each of us in a unique and different way. Lewis needed help but he was killed.” . He should never have taken it from us.”

/ PA Wire

Family solicitor Neil Hudgel said: “Lewis had overtaken many people, but contacted no one.

“Yes, people had expressed concern, but people were not threatened, and when the police armed response teams were alerted, they were told it was a ‘low threat situation’.

“Unfortunately, from that point on, a series of events unfolded in which decisions were made that were completely inappropriate for the situation.”

The jury heard that Humberside Police had received several 999 calls on 29 November 2016 stating that a man was walking down Holderness Road with an axe.

Armed police were deployed and two officers apprehended him.

The officer who fired the fatal shots – identified only as B50 – described how Mr Skelton failed to stop when challenged and the Taser was used four times by both he and his accomplice – identified only as Charlie Gone – had no effect.

When Mr Skelton approached a group of workers, he fired two live shots from his Glock 17 pistol in Francis Street and said he believed his life was in danger.

Mr. Skelton’s parents, Helen and Glenn Skelton, describe how their son was a passionate liverpool Fan who also loved music and animals.

We are disappointed by this finding and concerned that it does not undermine the confidence of officials to act decisively when making split-second decisions to protect the public.

Mr and Mrs Skelton said their son was struggling with mental health problems.

In a formal witness statement read out in court, Glenn Skelton said that his son began taking heroin at the age of 18, after coming in with the “wrong mob”.

He later developed psychosis and the jury heard that he had recently stopped taking his medication after he was shot.

Assistant Chief Constable of Humberside Police Chris Noble Said: “We are disappointed by this finding and concerned that it does not undermine the confidence of authorities to act decisively when making split-second decisions to protect the public.”

Mr Noble said an independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation found that the action taken by the officer was “proportionate to the identified risk to members of the public”.

He added that recent law changes meant that an investigating jury no longer had to use an offender “beyond a reasonable doubt” to come to a conclusion of unlawful homicide.

He added: “Furthermore, the jury had to make its decision under very different circumstances to those who faced the officers that day.

“Our officers answered four 999 calls to a man armed, and waving, an unarmed ax headed toward the city center, did not stop despite four attempts to Taser him.”

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