Lewis Skelton inquest: man shot by police in Hull 'unlawfully killed'

An inquest into the death of a man who was shot by police in Hull has concluded he was unlawfully killed.

31 year old Lewis Skelton was tasered and shot after being seen walking in the city centre with an axe.

The jury's findings came at the end of a six week hearing.

The inquest heard how Mr Skelton was shot after he failed to respond to officers' instructions to stop. The jury was told that Humberside Police received three 999 calls on 29th November 2016, saying a man was walking down Holderness Road carrying an axe.

Armed police were deployed and two officers caught up with him on Caroline Place.

Lewis Skelton, 31, was carrying an axe in Hull cty centre when he was killed Credit: Family photo

The officer who fired the fatal shots - only identified as B50 - described how Mr Skelton failed to stop when challenged and the use of Taser four times by both he and his colleague - identified only as Charlie - had no effect.

Mr Skelton, who had mental health problems, was shot twice in the back with a Glock pistol.

The officer said he shot Mr Skelton as he believed he was a threat to the lives of a group of workmen who were approaching him in the street.

The officer said the first shot into Mr Skelton's back did not stop him but the second one did, allowing him to be restrained.

Mr Skelton died later in hospital.

Coroner Oliver Longstaff told jurors on Thursday they had to decide whether Mr Skelton was lawfully or unlawfully killed, or whether to return an open conclusion.

Flowers left at the scene where Lewis was killed in 2016

Mr Longstaff said they had to decide whether officer B50 was acting "in lawful defence of others".

Mr Skelton's parents, Helen and Glen Skelton, have described their son as a "kind man with a good heart".

Mr and Mrs Skelton said he was a key part of their close-knit family and the events of November 2016 had "deeply affected" all of them.

They said Mr Skelton was a passionate Liverpool fan who also loved music and animals.

Mr and Mrs Skelton said their son struggled with mental health problems.

In a formal witness statement read to the court, Glen Skelton said his son started taking heroin when he was about 18, after getting in with the "wrong crowd".

Mr Skelton said his son served a prison sentence in 2008 that left him "broken" and he later developed psychosis. The jury heard he had recently stopped taking his medication when he was shot.

One of Mr Skelton's three sisters, Laura, said in a statement that her brother was "not a typical addict" and remained kind-natured, never stealing to fund his drug-taking.

She said her brother had been sectioned twice due to his mental health problems.

Ms Skelton said in her statement: "I do not believe that Lewis deserved to die.

"He needed help, not killing."