Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Spalding shooting: 'Controlling' husband killed wife and daughter 'as revenge'

Claire and Charlotte Hart were shot dead in Spalding in July Credit: Family photo

An inquest has heard how a "cold, calculated and scheming man" killed his wife and teenage daughter with a sawn-off shotgun before shooting himself to take "revenge" on them.

57-year-old Lance Hart shot his wife Claire, 50, and their daughter Charlotte ,19, at a sports centre carpark in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in July. He then turned the gun on himself.

Today the coroner returned a verdict of unlawful killing for Charlotte and Claire, and suicide for Hart.

Forensic tents at the scene of the shooting. Credit: ITV News Anglia

An inquest heard how Hart arranged to meet his wife five days earlier, after she told him their marriage was over, on the pretext of discussing their separation.

When she turned up with their daughter, he produced a 12-bore single-barrel shotgun.

He shot Claire, before reloading and gunning down the teenager, then killing himself with a shot to the head.

Horrified witnesses rushed to help. They found Claire and Hart dead, but Charlotte was initially still alive.

She managed to say: "It was my dad who shot me" before she died.

The scene of the shooting in Spalding, Lincolnshire. Credit: ITV News

The court heard how police found a 12-page document left by Hart, in which blamed his children for making matters worse between him and his wife. He said he wanted to take "revenge" on his family.

The family had recently sold their home in Moulton, Lincolnshire and the couple's three children had been helping Claire move out.

Claire had told colleagues she was separating from Hart, after 26 years together, because she was "worn out".

"Claire confided in colleagues that she felt Lance was a selfish and controlling man.

"She had been worn out by his behaviour and she previously wanted a trial separation."

– Detective Inspector Helen Evans, Lincolnshire Police
The shooting happened outside a sports complex. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"Mr Hart knew completely what he was going to do, he outlined that in his statement which I found was cold and chilling.

"Not only had he gone out to acquire a shotgun he had sawn it off to cause maximum damage.

"In my view this was a cold, calculating, scheming man who went out and murdered his wife and daughter.

"The only conclusion I can reach is one of unlawful killing of Charlotte and Claire and of suicide for Lance Hart."

– Paul Cooper, Senior Coroner