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Last Updated: Monday, 18 October, 2004, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Shot man 'recovering from cancer'
Harry Stanley
Harry Stanley was returning from the pub when he was shot
A man carrying a table leg who was shot by police was recovering from cancer when he died, an inquest has been told.

In 1999 Harry Stanley, 46, from Hackney, east London, was shot in the head and the hand by two police officers who thought he was armed.

Mr Stanley's widow Irene told a second inquest into his death that he had just got out of hospital following treatment for colon cancer when it happened.

Members of the inquest jury were shown the site of the shooting on Monday.

They walked the 10-minute route from the Alexandra pub along Victoria Park Road to the site where he died. The coroner and legal representative were also present.

'Fatal shots'

The coroner, Dr Andrew Reid, told the jury not to make premature judgements. He said the visit to the site of the shooting was "just to put it into context".

"There was an armed police response in relation to a telephone call made by a member of the public from the public house," Dr Reid said.

"At the end of the armed police response, Mr Stanley and police officers were involved in an engagement... and fatal shots were fired."

Mr Stanley, a painter and decorator, was returning home from the Alexandra pub in Hackney carrying the table leg in a plastic bag, when he was shot by officers who thought the bag contained a sawn-off shotgun.

He couldn't do his shoelaces, he couldn't bend down, his stomach was still tender because of the wound and the stitches.
Irene Stanley
Two Metropolitan police officers who fired the shots had mistakenly been informed that Mr Stanley was an Irishman with a sawn-off shotgun.

But the Scottish father-of-three was carrying a coffee table leg which had just been repaired by his brother Peter.

His family went to the High Court to have the original open verdict quashed and a new inquest ordered.

Mr Justice Silber told the High Court in April that the first inquest in 2002 was an "insufficient inquiry."

Tender wounds

The jury was told Mr Stanley was recovering from an operation as part of his treatment for cancer.

"He couldn't do his shoelaces, he couldn't bend down, his stomach was still tender because of the wound and the stitches," Mrs Stanley said.

"He couldn't bend... and he had to wear braces instead of a belt."

The hearing continues on Tuesday.


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