A police officer has lost his high-court appeal to challenge a public inquiry finding he used excessive force when he killed robbery suspect Azelle Rodney.

The 24-year-old was killed instantly when he was struck by six bullets fired by a police marksman seconds after an unmarked car pulled up alongside his car in Hale Lane, Edgware, in 2005.

But after an independent inquiry found there was “no lawful justification” for this last year, the officer, known only as E7, sought permission for judicial review.

After the courts findings this morning, the Met police said in a statement: “The MPS respects the Court's ruling.

“We feel that the concerns expressed by E7 and the MPS with regard to the shot-by-shot analysis and the dissection of fractions of a second, with the benefit of hindsight, has been recognised and addressed by the court, and the judgment will be very helpful going forward.”

Police had carried out a “hard stop” on the vehicle, which contained Mr Rodney and two others who officers believed were on their way to carry out an armed robbery.

A wrapped handgun, later found to be incapable of firing, was found on the back seat of the vehicle, along with two other firearms in the foot well and glove box, though the location of the weapons at the time of the shooting was disputed during the inquiry.

E7 could now face criminal trial over Mr Rodney's death and prosecutors are considering whether to bring charges.