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Last Updated:  Monday, 7 April, 2003, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
New inquest into police shooting
Harry Stanley
Harry Stanley was shot by police
A fresh inquest will be held into the death of a man carrying a table leg who was shot by police.

The family of Harry Stanley won a ruling from the High Court on Monday to have his case re-examined by a coroner.

Mr Stanley, 46, from Hackney, east London, was shot in the head and the hand by two Metropolitan Police officers on 22 September, 1999, as he returned home from a pub carrying the table leg in a plastic bag, which police officers thought contained a sawn-off shotgun.

The family of the father of three succeeded in their application to have the open verdict from the first inquest in June last year quashed because it was an "insufficient inquiry."

Mr Justice Silber told the court that he will be quashing the verdict of the original inquest and ordering a new inquest into Mr Stanley's death.

Tim Owen QC, appearing for Mr Stanley's widow, Irene, told the judge it was now accepted by the police that the original inquest was flawed and a fresh investigation should take place.

Irene Stanley
I just want a fair inquest. I want justice
Irene Stanley

The Inner North London coroner Dr Stephen Chan had wrongly prevented the jury from hearing from expert witnesses and leaving open a verdict of unlawful killing to the jury, he said.

Speaking outside the court, Mrs Stanley said: "We didn't get justice last time. We should have had a verdict of unlawful killing.

"I just want a fair inquest. I want justice."

The incident happened after police said they received a call from a person who reported a man leaving a pub in Hackney carrying a sawn-off shotgun in a bag.

Inquest reforms

Two officers, Inspector Neil Sharman and Pc Kevin Fagan, from the Met firearms unit S019, saw a man fitting the caller's description and carrying a plastic bag.

They shouted to him, but he did not reply. When he turned, the officers shot him.

At the inquest they said Mr Stanley, a painter and decorator originally from Bellshill, Lanarkshire, was holding the blue plastic bag in a way which suggested that he was about to shoot a sawn-off shotgun.

The family's legal action is backed by the pressure group Inquest, which is seeking reform in the coroners' courts.

Irene Stanley said:
"I'm happy about today's decision but the first inquest should have been fair"

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28 Sep 99  |  UK News

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