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Last Updated: Monday, 6 June, 2005, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Shot man's mother 'plea ignored'
Keith Larkins
Mr Larkins suffered speech and learning difficulties as a child
The mother of a man shot dead by police who believed he was a suspected terrorist has said she made an urgent plea for help hours before his death.

Keith Larkins, 33, from Feltham, in west London, was fatally wounded after a car chase around Heathrow Airport in June 2003.

The inquest jury at West London Coroners' Court heard Mr Larkins had earlier suffered a nervous breakdown.

Maureen Larkins said she repeatedly asked her son's social worker for help.

Two Metropolitan Police officers have been suspended from firearms duties following the shooting.

Learning difficulties

Mrs Larkins, of West Drayton, west London, said she was told her son was missing, but remained unaware of the incident as it unfolded at the airport.

It is alleged her son crashed his car after the chase, wielded a pistol at officers and attempted to steal a police van.

Mrs Larkins said her son had suffered a breakdown in the months before the incident.

The court heard Mr Larkins, who had speech and learning difficulties as a child, was first admitted to hospital in December 2002 after suffering fits.

He was discharged a month later and offered care in the community help.

In the days leading up to his death, Mrs Larkins said she had noticed a deterioration in his health and had made urgent pleas to the social worker and the local mental health team.

"I knew I had to get him urgent help and said I would have him committed because I needed help for him. Anyone who saw him knew something wasn't right," she told the court.

When a psychiatrist turned up at his home on the day he was reported missing, Mrs Larkins told him: "You're too late."

The family dispute allegations that Mr Larkins fired his replica weapon and claim he had been driving only on quiet country lanes away from the Heathrow Airport site.

Pc Matthew Stoakes and Pc Steven Clark, both suspended from firearms duties, are expected to give evidence next week.




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