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    Mark Saunders standoff footage released


    by ODN


    A video showing the final moments of a stand-off between a barrister and police in London has been released.

    The dramatic and tragic footage shows 32-year-old Mark Saunders leaning out of a window at his property in Chelsea in May 2008. The five-hour siege ended with him being shot dead by a marksmen.

    An inquest has heard from an officer, known only as AZ 15 who said he went to a house in neighbouring Bywater Street and climbed up to a bedroom.

    "Upon entering the room, I noticed straight away that the window had damage, and it appeared to be either birdshot or pellets from a shotgun," he said.

    "I made it clear to the occupants of the address to stay in the hallway and positioned myself to the left-hand side of the window."

    At first he thought that the gunman was in the garden but then saw him standing at a window - well within the range of his pistol.

    AZ 15 said he became aware that one of the occupants of the house had come into the room so he fired two shots back at the gunman.

    "I feared for the safety of the person in the room, so until I could assess where that person was, I discharged two shots from my weapon."

    He also fired a third shot, because he anticipated a second shot from the gunman, he added.

    Within seconds of another officer known as AZ 14 taking over his position with a Heckler & Koch MP5 carbine, which has a longer range, the gunman fired a second time.

    Earlier today an officer co-ordinating negotiators at the siege said it did not cross his mind that Mr Saunders' wife should be allowed to go to him.

    The inquest has heard that his family criticised police for blocking his wife Elizabeth despite her husband's repeated requests to speak to her.

    Detective Inspector Steve Wagstaff was asked today if it had crossed his mind at the beginning of the incident that Mrs Saunders or his close friend Michael Bradley should be allowed to attend.

    The family watched the harrowing footage on Wednesday that showed the moment Mr Saunders died in a volley of bullets.

    His sister Charlotte wept as a dramatic two-and-a-half hour film was shown to the inquest jury.

    His widow walked out of the court as footage shot by a police helicopter and an audio recording of negotiations was played.

    The inquest, sitting in Marylebone, has heard how the legal high-flyer waved a shotgun from his smashed kitchen window before fatefully pointing it towards armed officers.

    The inquest has heard he texted a friend with a line from the song by The Doors, The End, used in the soundtrack to Apocalypse Now, saying: "This is the end my only friend, the end."