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October 15th 2021

Inquests

Statement from the family of Lewis Skelton after conclusion of inquest

Leanne Stephenson

Leanne Stephenson

Associate, Civil Liberties

Statement from the family of Lewis Skelton after conclusion of inquest

A jury has returned a verdict of unlawful killing into the death of Lewis Skelton of Hull, who died after being shot by armed officers from Humberside Police in November 2016. At the conclusion of the inquest, the family of Mr Skelton issued the following statement:

A jury has returned a verdict of unlawful killing into the death of Lewis Skelton of Hull, who died after being shot by armed officers from Humberside Police in November 2016. At the conclusion of the inquest, the family of Mr Skelton issued the following statement:

“As a family we have had to wait almost five years for Lewis to have some form of justice.

“Today is a huge day for our family and certainly one of huge emotion for us all. The jury has confirmed what we all knew, the killing of Lewis was wrong and it was unlawful and he should still be with us today.

“It has been incredibly difficult for us to hear and see all the evidence during the inquest. There was nothing to suggest Lewis was aggressive or a danger to anyone on that day.

“He was confused and frightened, his final moments must have been ones of terror and fear, and that is so hard for us as a family to know.

“At the time of this incident, there were media reports describing Lewis as a ‘crazed axe man’ and ‘axe wielding’ – descriptions which didn’t come from any witnesses on the day, who simply described him as carrying an axe. We question where these descriptions to the media came from, and the motive behind them.

“That is something that has angered us all and we hope the jury’s verdict today can help end such comments about Lewis and place the focus where it should be, on the actions of the police officers who took his life.

Lewis Skelton with his sisters
Lewis Skelton with his sisters

“All who have seen and heard the evidence during this inquest will have come to realise those descriptions of Lewis on that day could not have been further from the truth.

“We are grateful to the members of the jury who recognised that the people in the wrong were the officers of Humberside Police, and not Lewis.

“As a family there’s nothing that we wouldn’t give to have just one more day with Lewis. We only wish he was here now for us to be able to tell him how much we all love him. He touched the hearts of every single person he met. There has not been a day since when he hasn’t been on our minds.

Lewis Skelton as a child
Lewis Skelton as a child

“Lewis had his problems, but who doesn’t. He battled with his mental health for quite some years. However, despite the problems or challenges he faced throughout his 31 years of life, he was someone who put others needs before his own, and we will forever be proud of him for that.

“What happened to Lewis has torn our family apart and broken all our hearts, affecting each and every one of us in unique and different ways.

“Lewis needed help but he was killed. He should never have been taken from us.”

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