The innocent Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, was shot dead after pictures of the real terror suspect arrived too late, an inquest heard today.
Detective Inspector Kevin Southworth claimed police were only able to order images from a driving licence belonging to the failed bomber Hussain Osman, who De Menezes was mistaken for, “during office hours”.
As a result the images did not arrive at New Scotland Yard until midday — almost two hours after De Menezes was killed on July 22 2005.
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Asked why the pictures were not obtained earlier, Southworth, a member of the SO13 anti-terror branch, said officers did not have out-of-hours contact details for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
He said: “You could not just contact the DVLA directly. We had a dedicated point of contact which opened during office hours.
“We went to those people and they obtained the images as soon as possible.”
There were also pictures of Osman available from immigration authorities, the inquest heard. But, as only hard copies existed, there was no way of getting them in time.