Pair ‘had to be put down’: accused

Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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An elderly dog-breeder who shot his partner and her daughter told police that the pair “had to be put down” and that he “was not sorry”.

John Lowe is on trial at Guildford Crown Court for the murder of 66-year-old Christine Lee and her daughter Lucy Lee who he is accused of shooting with a shotgun at his farm in Tilford, near Farnham, Surrey, on February 23 this year.

The jury was told that Lucy, 40, made a “desperate” 999 call to police saying that Lowe had killed her mother and she was “running for her life” before telling the operator that she was going back to confront the 82-year-old. She was then shot twice, the court heard.

Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, said that Lowe told police he had intended to put down his four dogs but instead turned his weapon on Ms Lee and her daughter before going on to kill the dogs as well.

Describing the killing of Lucy, Mr Dennis said previously: “The defendant in effect ended her life in the same heartless way as he used to dispose of the lives of the four dogs.”

Pc Richard McEwan told the court that he took over responsibility for the detention of Lowe after he had been arrested at the scene by a firearms officer.

He said that Lowe made comments in the back of the police van including: “They had to be put down, there was nothing else I could do.

“I have had terrible problems with Christine.

“They wouldn’t let me eat.”

Later, when Lowe was in a holding cell at Guildford police station, he also said: “I am glad the torment’s over with those people, I couldn’t take it any more.

“F*** it.

“They treated me like s***.

“I only got the gun this morning to put the dogs down.

“Came in and Lucy shouted ‘What are you doing? You are not going to put my mother down’.

“They barracked me and I pulled the trigger.

“I do not even know if I meant to.”

Pc Christopher Fairclough said that he heard Lowe making comments including “I have four dogs, been problems with them feeding the dogs, went round to put the dogs down”, and ” Two cartridges in one pocket and two in chamber and went into the dining room”.

The officer also stated the defendant said: “Housekeeper died about four months ago”, and “Bank accounts emptied of 350,000”.

Pc Fairclough said that Lowe went on to say while in the holding cell: “I am not sorry, I am out of the problem, they are causing me problems every day.”

Lowe denies two charges of murder and a third of possessing a firearm with intent of endangering life.

Stacey Banner, the sister of victim Lucy, stormed out of the court in tears when Detective Constable David Jones said that Lowe made comments about her.

The trial has heard that Ms Banner spent a period in 2013 living in a caravan with her partner in the grounds of Lowe’s farm.

Mr Jones said the defendant said: “I didn’t want to get in s*** over her but she had two young kids otherwise I would have sorted her out.”

He also said: “Stacey is sister of Lucy who went today. Her and Christine worked with me. They worked with me a long time and they were no problem. Stacey met an Army bloke, her name was changed to Banner.”

He said that Lowe also told him: “I should have put the bloody dogs down. To be honest I would rather put the people down.”

He said another comment made by the defendant was: “I know it’s a terrible thing to say but I am glad those two people are out of my life. They have been giving me a terrible time.”

Published: Thursday 9th October 2014 by The News Editor

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