A man carrying an axe died when he was shot twice by police when their Tasers had no effect, an inquest into his death has heard.
The final moments of Lewis Skelton’s life has been revealed after the 31-year-old died nearly five years ago.
He died November 29 2016 and the events of that day will will be forensically examined over the next six weeks, assistant coroner Oliver Longstaff outlined.
Mr Skelton was Tasered four times before being shot by police officers in Francis Street, Hull, after he was seen carrying the weapon in the street.
He was shot twice and later died in hospital after four-hour surgery, HullLive report.
Hull Daily Mail / MEN Media)
The inquest into the circumstances surrounding his death got under way at Hull Coroner’s Court on Tuesday with a jury of 11 men and women set to reach a conclusion around mid-October.
At the opening of the six-week inquest, Mr Longstaff provided an outline of what happened that day.
“He returned to his Durham Street home and then left holding a small axe, like a hatchet. Police received three separate 999 calls from members of the public reporting a man carrying an axe.
“While he did not threaten anyone, Lewis was reported as ‘walking with purpose’ as if he had an intended target.
“Lewis was heading towards Hull city centre where there would be a number of people out at risk. Four armed units were dispatched with one unit nearer than the others.
“Two armed officers followed Lewis from Caroline Street onto Caroline Place. The officers introduced themselves as armed but Lewis ignored instructions to stop. Lewis ran off and one officer fired his taser twice but it had no effect.
Hull Daily Mail / MEN Media)
“The other officer then fired his taser twice at Lewis while on Francis Street but, again, this had no effect.
Mr Longstaff described how officers felt they had to act as Lewis approached some workmen.
He said: “Lewis headed towards a group of workmen nearby and officers felt he was an immediate threat to them.
“The officer shouted a further warning to stop and then fired his pistol in Lewis’s right side. Lewis stumbled but continued towards the workmen. The officer fired a second shot and Lewis stumbled again and stopped.
“But he continued to struggle as officers tried to restrain him and locate his wounds.
“Paramedics arrived and saw Lewis still struggling. They examined him and suspected internal bleeding.
“Lewis was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary. He was operated on for four hours but was pronounced dead at 6pm that day.”
Earlier this year, a pre-inquest review decided that the identity of the officers who shot Mr Skelton will not be revealed.
Instead, their evidence will be given anonymously.
The inquest began with the heartbreaking tributes by his parents and sisters who described him has ‘kind’ and an ‘amazing brother’.
Lewis was not without his problems and fell into drugs when he was around 18 which later led to mental health issues.
But his family say there is a big hole in their lives and a day never goes by when they don’t think about him.
In a series of tributes, known as pen portraits, read out by his little sister Tia, the family described how much he is missed.
Lewis, who had three sisters and brother Tom, left school and went to work in a fish factory before going to college to do electrical engineering.
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In a statement read out by Tia, his parents Helen and Glen Skelton said: “Lewis put the needs of others before his own. He was a kind man with a good heart.
“What happened has torn our family apart and broke our hearts. We miss Lewis every day.
“I would do anything just to have one more afternoon with my son.”
Tia also read out a statement from his sister Hayley who was a similar age to Lewis and in the same school year.
“My brother was the kindest, fun and most loyal person in my life,” Hayley said.
“I will never get the chance to see my brother grow old and never hear his beautiful laugh again. Without my brother, my life will always be incomplete.
“I think about Lewis all the time and I will never again get the chance to say I love him and give him a hug.
“He was an amazing person and a great brother.”
The inquest continues this week.