News Inquests & Public Inquiries 26th Jun 2019

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, Representing Bereaved Daughter and Sister in Inquest into Deaths of 2 Women, Establishes Failings by Police

Police failings contributed to the murder of a mother and daughter shot dead by a puppy farmer, a inquest jury has ruled. Christine Lee, 66, and her daughter, Lucy Lee, 40, were killed by John Lowe, then 82, in Farnham in February 2014.

The jury found that Christine and Lucy were unlawfully killed, and that their deaths were more than minimally contributed to by:

  • The force’s Firearms Licensing Department failing to “investigate sufficiently” whether it was safe to return the shotguns to Lowe following the threat to kill allegation in March 2013.
  • The department failing to “consider all the evidence and information available to it” and failing “to apply the correct standard of proof” when deciding whether to revoke or return Lowe’s shotguns and licence.
  • A final failure saw the department fail to recommend the revocation of Lowe’s shotgun licence in July 2013 and the consequential failure by Surrey Police to revoke the certificate.

The Coroner has confirmed he will also make a Report to Prevent Future Deaths under his power under Regulation 28 of the Coroners and Justice Act.

Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC represented Stacy Banner and was instructed by Sarah Ricca of Deighton Pierce Glynn solicitors.

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