THE mother of Mark Duggan, whose death sparked riots after he was shot by a police marksman in 2011, is asking the High Court to overturn an inquest verdict that he was "lawfully killed".

Pamela Duggan, other family members and supporters, reacted with shock and anger after the inquest jury returned their majority verdict in January on 29-year-old Mr Duggan. They were back at the Royal Courts of Justice for the appeal yesterday.

Michael Mansfield QC, appearing for the family, asked three judges to declare that coroner Judge Keith Cutler misdirected the jury and, in doing so, violated human rights laws. Mr Mansfield told a packed court the "nutshell" of his case was in the question: "How is it a man who is manifestly unarmed can be lawfully shot?"

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The inquest jury found Mr Duggan was lawfully killed by a police marksman in August 2011 in Tottenham, north London, despite being unarmed. An officer can only legally open fire if he honestly believes there is an imminent risk to his own life or to others.

Mr Mansfield said that although the jury's verdict was "lawful killing" the jury had also decided by a majority of 8-2 that Mr Duggan did not have a gun in his hand when he was fatally shot.