Revealed: Ten women have been shot dead in last nine years by partners who were allowed to hold gun licences despite claims of domestic abuse or severe mental health problems
- Data, analysed by the Times, shows six cases in Preventing Future Death reports
- Reports can be called for by coroner and findings sent to relevant organisations
- One such report was carried out into deaths of Christine Lee and daughter Lucy
- The pair were shot dead by Christine’s partner John Lowe who used a shotgun
- Lowe’s guns had been taken away, but given back, after threat to kill allegations
Ten women have been shot dead in the last nine years by partners who were allowed to hold gun licences despite claims of domestic abuse or severe mental health problems, it has been revealed.
Data shows six cases where police returned guns to owners, despite allegations of domestic abuse, or where a GP had flagged serious concerns over mental health, the Times reports.
Of those six cases, four ended with murders – two of which were murder-suicides – and another three suicides.
Other data, also analysed by the Times, revealed five cases were male partners with a history of abuse kept their shotgun licences despite abuse claims against them.
They then went on to murder their wives and daughters. One such case is that of John Lowe, who murdered his partner Christine Lee, 66, and daughter Lucy Lee, 40, with a shotgun in 2014.
One of the firearms used in the killings had been returned to Lowe by police, who had seized it a year earlier following an abuse claim.
The analysis comes after the country was left in shock by Plymouth gunman Jake Davison’s mass shooting last week.
The 22-year-old , a self-confessed ‘involuntary celibate’ or ‘Incel’, was granted a shotgun licence and had his weapon returned to him a month before the shooting after an alleged assault last year.
Data shows six cases where police returned guns to owners, despite allegations of domestic abuse, or where a GP had flagged serious concerns over mental health. Pictured: Library image of a UK gun licence
One such case is that of John Lowe, who murdered his partner Christine Lee, 66, and daughter Lucy Lee, 40, with a shotgun
One case where a gun licence had been returned after abuse claims was that of Lowe, who was 82 when he murdered his partner Christine and daughter Lucy with a shotgun at Keepers Cottage Stud in Farnham, Surrey, in 2014. He was jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years for the killings
Every gun licence will be reviewed: 560,000 firearms owners are facing new checks and scrutiny of their social media in wake of Plymouth atrocity
ByDavid Barrett Home Affairs Correspondent For The Daily Mail
More than half a million licensed gun owners will face tough new checks by police in the wake of the Plymouth massacre.
The Home Secretary will order police forces across England and Wales to introduce more stringent background vetting – including reviews of social media posts – in a bid to weed out unstable applicants.
It comes amid concern that Devon and Cornwall Police appeared to be unaware of gunman Jake Davison’s hate-fuelled online rants.
The force’s chief constable, Shaun Sawyer, said at the weekend that officers do not look at social media when someone applies for a gun licence because it would be ‘an invasion of privacy’.
Davison, 22, was stripped of his shotgun licence in December after being involved in an altercation – but it was handed back in July.
Within a few weeks he launched his killing spree, murdering five innocent people including a three-year-old girl.
Last night sources said a compulsory checklist for issuing gun licences will be handed to chief constables later this year.
In addition, forces will be asked to carry out an immediate review of procedures.
It means all 566,000 holders of firearms or shotgun certificates in England and Wales will face additional security checks – although the timescale had yet to be confirmed last night.
‘We are bringing forward new guidance to improve how people applying for a firearms licence are assessed in future, including social media checks,’ a Home Office source said. ‘But, as a matter of urgency, we are asking the police to review their practices and whether any existing licences need to be looked at again.
‘This will help reassure people that all necessary checks have been made to keep them safe.’
The weapon was returned after he attended an anger management course. On Thursday he shot dead five people, including his mother Maxine, before turning the gun on himself.
The data revealed by the Times in their investigation comes into gun possession comes from Prevention of Future Death Notices.
The reports are called for by coroner’s, who have a legal power to write a report if, during the course of an inquest, it appears there there is a risk of other deaths occurring in similar circumstances.
The report is sent to the people or organisations who are in a position to take action to reduce the risk. They then must reply within 56 days to say what action they plan to take.
According to the Times, the six cases identified from coroner’s reports are likely to be the tip of the iceberg, because there is no central record of whether a gun involved in a death is legally owned, according to campaigners.
One case where a gun licence had been returned after abuse claims was that of Lowe, who was 82 when he murdered his partner Christine and daughter Lucy with a shotgun at Keepers Cottage Stud in Farnham, Surrey, in 2014. He was jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years for the killings.
The previous year he’d had his firearms confiscated after threatening to kill Lucy’s sister, Stacey Banner. She also raised concerns regarding his health, in particular that he may have Alzheimer’s Disease.
Surrey Police attended Keepers Cottage Stud and removed the perpetrator’s shotguns and shotgun certificate later that day. However they took ‘no further’ action after investigating the claims.
A Prevention of Future Deaths report heard Surrey Police later assessed Lowe’s health and, after a review, decided to give back the guns and the licence in July 2013.
The jury in the inquest ruled that the decision maker had ‘not taken account of all relevant information which could have been obtained and considered, had not applied the correct standard of proof, and had not postponed the decision pending the outcome of the ongoing fraud investigation’.
Seven months later we committed the double murder. The coroner, in the 2019 Preventing Future Deaths report, was critical that 2015 guidance by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary on firearms licence reviews had still not been implemented by the Home Office.
It comes as yesterday furious locals joined campaigners and MPs in asking why Plymouth gunman Davison was granted a shotgun licence and had his weapon returned to him last month after an alleged assault last year.
Friends of the killer’s victims as well as the Gun Control Network, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Plymouth MP Luke Pollard called for urgent answers into why the 22-year-old was allowed to be armed.
Jake Davison, a self-confessed ‘involuntary celibate’, had an obsession with guns and violent computer games from the age of five, according to reports
Members of the public place flowers at the entrance of Biddick Drive on August 15, 2021 in Plymouth
The incel fanatic was stripped of his gun in December – following an alleged assault in September – but it was returned to him last month after he attended an anger management course.
Meanwhile a former top prosecutor said the shooter should have been on a police watchlist before he killed five people and himself on Thursday.
Nazir Afzal, who was previously chief crown prosecutor for the North West, said Davison was ‘exactly the type of person the authorities should be keeping an eye on’.
The police chief investigating the mass shooting was confronted by an angry local on why his force had given back Davison’s pump-action shotgun after taking it away.
Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer was challenged by 78-year-old former MoD armed security guard Stewart Parfitt who asked why the firearm was returned last month.
Davison’s shooting spree left five people dead – as well as himself – and was Britain’s first ‘incel’ mass shooting, named after a violent online subculture of ‘involuntary celibates’, who have an inability to find a sexual partner.
Incel gunman ‘was a ticking timebomb hooked on steroids’ and once attacked a pregnant woman, reports claim
ByNeil Searsand Andy Dolanand Alex Ward For The Daily Mail
Jake Davison was a ‘ticking timebomb’ who became addicted to bodybuilding steroids and once attacked a pregnant woman, it was claimed yesterday.
The 22-year-old virgin, a self-confessed ‘involuntary celibate’, had an obsession with guns and violent computer games from the age of five, according to reports.
In 2016, he was let go by police despite hitting Scott Hobbs 15 times and punching his girlfriend Sherrie – sending her falling on to her stomach and fearing she could lose her unborn baby.
Nineteen-stone Davison was not arrested and received a warning over the assault on the strangers outside a Tesco in Plymouth.
Mr Hobbs, 25, told The Sunday Mirror: ‘The police didn’t seem to take it very seriously. They said he was ‘nothing to worry about’.’
Police gave Mr Hobbs a victims of crime leaflet and he eventually moved house, he said.
In another incident last September, six-foot Davison is said to have repeatedly punched a 16-year-old in the face.
Home Secretary Priti Patel and Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, Shaun Sawyer, visiting the tributes in Plymouth today
A friend of the boy’s mother, Caroline Reilly, 38, claimed that when a girl tried to stop him, he spat in her face and told her ‘I f****** hate women’.
A friend of Davison said he had been playing violent computer games such as Grand Theft Auto since he was five, and claimed he was obsessed with online pornography by 11.
Meanwhile, a member of a gym where Davison went said drug abuse may have contributed to a deterioration in his mental state.
He claimed the killer had been taking both amphetamines and bodybuilding anabolic steroids since at least December.
He told The Sun: ‘He was popping lots of pills… he became edgy, aggressive – and was basically a ticking timebomb.’
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