Inquest launched into death of Lewis Skelton

lewis skelton

Inquest launched into death of Lewis Skelton

A recent inquest into the death of Lewis Skelton heard that armed Humberside Police officers shot and killed a man carrying an axe when tasers failed to stop him.

Police feared Skelton, 31, was on his way to attack someone when he was seen walking “with purpose.”

A jury was told officers opened fire when the stun weapon had “no discernible effect” and Mr Skelton began moving towards a group of workmen.

Members of Mr Skelton’s family told Hull Coroner’s Court heard he had a history of mental health issues.

Assistant coroner Oliver Longstaff told jurors Humberside Police received three 999 calls on 29 November 2016.

The reports described a man carrying an axe like a “hatchet”, and though he had not threatened anyone police feared he “might have an intended target”.

Jurors heard that armed officers were deployed and two found Mr Skelton, identified themselves and ordered him to stop and stand still.

He ignored them and ran, causing both officers to shout warnings and discharge their tasers “with no discernible effect”, Mr Longstaff said.

Skelton then jogged to another street and was seen approaching workmen, one of the officers decided there was an immediate threat and discharged his firearm, a Glock pistol.

Mr Longstaff said the policeman stopped Mr Skelton with a second shot before both officers moved in to restrain him.

Jurors would hear that Skelton continued to struggle as police and paramedics tended to his injuries. He died in hospital from his injuries.

Mr Skelton’s parents, Helen and Glen, described their son to the court as a “kind man with a good heart” and said the events of 2016 had “deeply affected” their close-knit family.

They said their son had suffered from mental health problems and informal witness statement, Glen Skelton said Lewis had fallen in with the “wrong crowd” when he was 18 and started to take heroin.

A prison sentence in 2008 had left his son “broken” and led to him developing psychosis.

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

He had been sectioned twice due to his mental health problems, she said.

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

“He needed help not killing.”

The inquest, which is due to last for a number of weeks, continues.

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Ellie joined Gi Media in July 2021.