Police returned gun to man who killed two women

#1
A police force is under investigation over claims a man convicted of shooting two women dead was allowed to have a gun despite officers being told he had tried to hire a hitman to carry out an execution.
John Lowe has been convicted of murdering his partner Christine Lee, 66, and her daughter Lucy Lee, 40, on a puppy farm near Farnham, Surrey, in February.
Lowe, 82, told police after the shootings that he had “put down” the women after they had been “giving me shit for weeks”.
In March 2013 the police took his weapons away over concerns he was unfit to have a gun licence having made threats to kill. But his weapons were returned to him in July 2013 after the complaint was dropped and staff decided he was fit to have a gun.
Three police staff are facing investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for gross misconduct and Surrey police are reviewing all their decisions to hand back revoked gun licences for the past two and a half years.
The shotgun used to shoot the two women was one that had been taken away by police and then handed back to Lowe.
Lowe was convicted after a trial at Guildford crown court. He was found guilty of both murders and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Lucy Lee, John Lowe’s second victim. Photograph: Surrey police/PA
Christine’s daughter Stacy Banner said: “The shotgun was one of seven that had been returned to him by the police only months before he used it to kill.”
She added: “John Lowe pulled the trigger but it was the Surrey police who put the gun in his hands.”
Lowe is alleged to have hired a hitman who was a registered police informant in the late 1990s.
The police informant told the Guardian that in 1997 Lowe approached him to find someone who could kill his then partner.
The informant says he had a business relationship with Lowe. He says he told a special police squad outside the Surrey area about Lowe’s desire to hire a hitman. He claims he was told this information had been passed on to Surrey police who decided to treat it as “intelligence”.
The police informant’s claims cannot be verified but the IPCC has spoken to him and confirmed that his allegations will be part of their inquiry into whether Surrey police blundered in allowing Lowe to have a gun licence.
John Lowe’s weapons were taken by police in March 2013 but later returned. Photograph: Surrey police/PA
The informant said: “From what I reported, he should not have been in possession of a gun licence since the late 1990s.”
In a statement the IPCC said: “Following the shooting Surrey police referred their prior contact with Mr Lowe to the IPCC. This contact involved the seizure of a number of licensed shotguns from Mr Lowe in March 2013, which were returned to him in July 2013.
“At this stage, the IPCC decided to carry out a supervised investigation led by Surrey police who commissioned firearms experts from Hampshire Constabulary and North Yorkshire police.
“The investigation looked into Surrey police’s decision to return the firearms. The report from this supervised investigation was completed in September and identified potential gross misconduct issues.
“As a result the IPCC is now carrying out an independent investigation. Surrey police has already issued misconduct notices to three Surrey police staff members.”
Surrey police said: “In March 2013 a shotgun licence and a number of licensed shotguns were seized from the address following an allegation that threats to kill had been made. This complaint was later withdrawn and the licence and guns were returned to Mr Lowe in July 2013. The decision to return of the firearms is now subject to an independent investigation by the IPCC.”
Police at the scene of the murders near Farnham, Surrey. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA
The force said: “This has been a tragic case and our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the two women who lost their lives.”
During the trial Guildford crown court heard that Lowe first shot Christine. Lucy, 40, made a “desperate” emergency call to police saying he had shot her mother.
She then told the operator that she was going back to confront the 82-year-old and was shot twice.
Lowe told the jury he had taken out a double-barrelled shotgun – which he usually used for shooting rats – from his gun cabinet with the intention of killing his four dogs.
He said the shooting of the two women was accidental.
Lowe said of the women he shot: “They had not been very kind lately. I was starving to death. They kept saying they were going to put me in care.
“I might have been fed up with them. I wasn’t angry with them one little bit.”
The prosecutor Mark Dennis said: “You effectively executed both women by shooting at close range when they were defenceless.”
Lowe replied: “You’re making it up. [Christine] pulled the gun and it pulled on my finger. She dropped down like a log and I naturally thought: ‘Oh dear.’”
Lowe will be sentenced later. Murder carries a mandatory life sentence, and the issue for the judge will be the minimum time Lowe will spend in prison before he can be considered for release on licence.
Stacy Banner makes a statement outside court. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA
Speaking outside court, Banner said Lowe “brutally and deliberately murdered my mum and my sister by shooting each of them at close range with a shotgun – they did not stand a chance”.
She added: “My life stopped when their lives ended on 23 February this year. It will never be the same for me or my children who have lost their aunt and Nanny Burger King.”
She also called for the way gun licensing decisions are made to be changed.
She said: “Licensing cannot be left entirely up to the police. There need to be thorough and regular multi-agency assessments for would-be gun-holders. And the cost of a shotgun licence needs to be significantly increased.”
Christine Lee’s sister, Julia James, said: “John Lowe will never pay for taking the innocent lives of my sister, Christine, and my niece, Lucy Lee. Christine was a mother, auntie and grandmother and was much loved.
“Christine and Lucy put the needs of others first. My sister had a heart of gold and was full of life. Lucy believed in protecting life and being kind to others.
“I witnessed on numerous occasions how caring Christine and Lucy had been towards Lowe. It has been heart-breaking listening to his lies.”
Got to be understatement of the month:
Lowe replied: “You’re making it up. [Christine] pulled the gun and it pulled on my finger. She dropped down like a log and I naturally thought: ‘Oh dear.’”
 
#5
Thank God it wasn't K**t Police.
 
#7
#8
A gun license is a good calmer if you value it , I would have loved to give irritating cnuts a tune up many a time but knew it would result in revocation.
 
#10
@ugly

And ACPO have the neck to come out with their latest firearms bull crap. Remember this is in the serious bit though mate.
 
#12
Nothing new, Dunblane same shit except, it was common knowledge that the killer had mental problems.

As for guns, anyone who gives me a hard time about them, I try to explain that, they are a piece of benign metal made up of moving parts, that can't kill anyone until a human being gets involved, a bit like a motor car, then ask them if they drive one, what's the difference, they can both kill ?

It doesn't get then thinking but, it does shut them up.
 
#13
Nothing new, Dunblane same shit except, it was common knowledge that the killer had mental problems.

As for guns, anyone who gives me a hard time about them, I try to explain that, they are a piece of benign metal made up of moving parts, that can't kill anyone until a human being gets involved, a bit like a motor car, then ask them if they drive one, what's the difference, they can both kill ?

It doesn't get then thinking but, it does shut them up.
Heres an example http://www.msn.com/en-my/news/other...-into-jerusalem-crowd-killing-baby/ar-BBaCVCt
 
#15
Not so long back, a bloke in Cardiff did the same thing with a Transit, into a bus queue.

It's in the papers and, soon forgotten but, people remember Hungerford, Dunblane, Cumbria and, Raul Moat why, because guns were used .
That's why the police stop and check thousands of cars a day to make sure they are licensed, roadworthy, not stolen and the drivers are fit to be behind the wheel. Vehicles and drivers are probably the most regulated and taxed people in the country, as you undoubtably know.


Wets.
 
#16
That's why the police stop and check thousands of cars a day to make sure they are licensed, roadworthy, not stolen and the drivers are fit to be behind the wheel. Vehicles and drivers are probably the most regulated and taxed people in the country, as you undoubtably know.


Wets.
And the easiest collar.
 
#17
A gun license is a good calmer if you value it , I would have loved to give irritating cnuts a tune up many a time but knew it would result in revocation.
I got assaulted by my neighbour. He was convicted. However, when talking to the police. and mentioning that I did not want any confrontation with him as I would have my permit revoked, I had firearms all over me like a tramp on chips.
Gadge
 

Latest Threads

Top