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Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Published at 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK


Man shot by police was unarmed

The man died soon after being shot

A man shot dead by police who thought he was armed was carrying a table leg, an inquest has been told.

Henry Stanley, 46, from Hackney, east London, was shot in the head and left hand by two officers as he returned home from a pub last Wednesday, St Pancras Coroner's Court heard.

A member of the public called 999 to say a man had left a pub with a sawn-off shotgun in a plastic bag, said Detective Superintendent Bryan Craddock, who is in charge of the investigation being carried out by Surrey police on behalf of the Police Complaints Authority.

The police sent an armed response unit, and two officers saw a man on Victoria Park Road in Hackney who fitted the description given.

He was carrying a blue plastic bag in his left hand.

Challenged by officers

The officers got behind him and verbally challenged him. When he did not respond, they challenged him again.

He did not reply but turned around and officers opened fire. He fell to the ground and first aid was given immediately, but the man was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

The item in the blue plastic bag was a table leg.

Coroner Stephen Chan said the cause of death was a shot to the head.

A second post mortem examination was carried out by the Police Federation and the victim's family have been given permission to have their own examination conducted.

The inquest was adjourned for further investigation.

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