Man shot by police carried three swords

A CHARITY worker gunned down by police on the side of a busy Yorkshire road was hit by six live rounds, an inquest has heard.

Simon Murden, 26, was holding a book containing his own "stream of consciousness" poetry when he was shot – and was also found to have been carrying three African swords.

His father David told the hearing yesterday, almost three years after his son's death, that he had called police to warn them Simon was having a psychotic episode and had taken his van and an ornamental sword – but insisted he was never aggressive.

Mr Murden drove the wrong way down the A63, crashing head-on into one car before trying to get into another.

A police officer and a member of the public both reported that he was carrying something which might be a firearm and armed officers were authorised.

Two officers, named only as officers C and D, were informed of David Murden's message as they arrived at the scene, close to a Little Chef restaurant.

Officer D, who was carrying a baton gun and a pistol, fired two rounds of plastic bullets.

Mr Murden was then hit with six live bullets, one from officer D and the rest by officer C with a high-velocity weapon, piercing vital organs, including his heart.

Pathologist Kenneth Shorrock, who examined the body at the scene, said police had told him Mr Murden had been shot twice with plastic bullets, fell to the ground but got up again.

"He continued to come towards police officers so they discharged firearms at him," he said.

Michael Topolski QC, representing the Murden family, challenged Dr Shorrock about the way in which the pistol wound was inflicted.

He said Dr Shorrock had suggested Mr Murden was falling forwards when that particular shot was fired.

Mr Topolski put it to him that Mr Murden was "sitting on the ground and the shooter comes up to him and from a foot-and-a-half away and shoots him", accounting for the steeply-angled trajectory that the bullet track made in his body.

But Paul Watson, representing the firearms officers, said there was a third possibility that Mr Murden was getting up from his sitting position. At the time the shot was fired he was in a kneeling position with his left hand on the ground for support, his right hand raised and moving forward from his semi-kneeling, crouching position.

The inquest heard that Mr Murden had just returned from a life-changing trip to Africa and had been writing down his experiences in his book. This had been in his left hand when he was shot.

The inquest continues.

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