A man who was shot dead by police as he carried an axe through Hull city centre was unlawfully killed, an inquest jury has concluded.

Lewis Skelton, 31, was shot twice by an officer after failed attempts to Taser him, the jury at Hull Coroner’s Court heard.

The inquest, which heard evidence over a period of five weeks, was told that Mr Skelton was shot in the street after he failed to respond to officers’ instructions to stop.

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Humberside Police received multiple 999 calls claiming that a man was walking down Holderness Road carrying an axe on November 29 in 2016, the jury was told.

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

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 inquest heard.

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, jurors were told.

Mr Skelton died later in hospital.

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.

Following the inquest's conclusion, Humberside Police Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble said: “We are disappointed with this conclusion and are concerned that it does not undermine the confidence of officers to act decisively when making split-second decisions to protect the public.

“Prior to this verdict, the IOPC in their independent investigation found that the actions taken by our officers on that day, in what was a complex and challenging situation requiring fast-time decision making, were proportionate to the risk that was identified to members of the public.

“Following a change in the law last year, such conclusions are no longer assessed in the coroner’s courts by the more exacting standards that they used to be. Additionally, the jury had to make its decision in very different circumstances to those that confronted the officers on the day.

“Our officers responded to four 999 calls to a man armed with, and waving, an unsheathed axe marching towards the city centre who did not stop despite four attempts to taser him.

“In light of the IOPC’s full and independent investigation, which came to very different conclusions to those of the jury, in that, they found that no police officers had either committed a criminal offence or behaved in a manner which would justify disciplinary proceedings, we now await further directions from the IOPC. We respect the decision made by the jury today.

“Our thoughts remain with Lewis’ family and friends, and the officers involved in this very sad and tragic event. We hope today has brought them some closure as to the events of 29th November 2016.”

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.

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Glen Skelton said his son, who started taking herion when he was around 18-years-old, served a prison sentence in 2008 that left him “broken” and he later developed psychosis.

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.”

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