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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 November 2004, 12:31 GMT
How tip-off led to shooting death
The scene of the shooting
Harry Stanley was about 100 yards from home when he was shot
When Harry Stanley decided to help his brother repair a broken table on 22 September 1999, he began a chain of events that was to end with his death.

Walking home with the table leg wrapped in a plastic bag that afternoon, he decided to stop off at a Hackney pub.

By the time he left, someone had called the police to report an Irishman with a gun wrapped in a bag.

The 46-year-old Scot was shot dead just yards from his home, by marksmen who thought he was pointing a gun at them.

Sept 1999: Mr Stanley shot dead
June 2002: Inquest returns open verdict
April 2003: High Court orders new inquest
Oct 2004: Inquest returns unlawful killing verdict
May 2005: High Court quashes second inquest verdict
June 2005: Two officers arrested
October 2005: CPS decides to take no action against the officers

Mr Stanley's brother, Peter, said he had arrived at about 1100 GMT that Wednesday, had a few cups of tea and helped repair the table.

He left at about 1430 GMT, saying he wanted to go for a game of pool, but later phoned Peter back to say there was no-one to play against and set off home.

The painter and decorator had been in hospital a week earlier for an operation to remove a cancerous tumour and his family say he would have been walking slowly.

He stopped off for a break at The Alexandra, not his regular haunt, and ordered a lemonade, still carrying the table leg in a blue plastic bag.

But someone mistook his Scottish accent for an Irish one and thought the bag contained a sawn-off shotgun.

As Mr Stanley left, oblivious to causing any fuss, someone called the police.

Harry Stanley with his nephew
Mr Stanley grew up in Scotland but moved to London in the 1970s

The father-of-three was only about 100 yards from home when he heard the shout: "Stop, armed police".

Pc Kevin Fagan and Inspector Neil Sharman, say Mr Stanley turned around, and raised the bag, which they believed to contain a gun.

Pc Fagan said Mr Stanley stood in a "boxer's stance", moving his left hand so he was gripping the bag in both hands.

He told the second inquest into the death, in October 2004, that he had been convinced he was "looking down the barrel of a shotgun".

Pc Fagan shot Mr Stanley in the hand, just before Insp Sharman - who said he was sure his colleague was about to be killed - shot Mr Stanley in the head.

Also at the second inquest, the Stanley family's barrister accused Insp Sharman of "concocting" the story - and said they shot him "as soon as he began to even slightly turn around".

I never saw him again and that was that. It was like an ordinary day, he said cheerio and that was it, he kissed me...and off he went
Irene Stanley

But the jury's verdict of unlawful killing was later quashed by a High Court judge on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

And, last October, prosecution of the two officers for murder was ruled out by the Crown Prosecution Service.

When Mr Stanley said goodbye to his wife on 22 September 1999, he told her: "I'll be back later on in the evening to watch the football.

"I'll have stovies when I come back."

Mrs Stanley later told the BBC the "stovies", a traditional Scottish dish, were still in the microwave when she was told of his death.

"I never saw him again and that was that. It was like an ordinary day, he said cheerio and that was it, he kissed me...and off he went," she said.


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