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Police returned shotguns to 'puppy farmer' who went on to kill two women

  • Watch Sam Holder reporting from Farnham

Surrey Police has been severely criticised for returning shotguns and other firearms to a man, who then went on to murder two women.

John Lowe, a 'puppy farmer' shot dead his former partner Christine Lee and her daughter Lucy, as well as a number of dogs, at his secluded farm near Farnham in February 2014.

The murder weapon had previously been confiscated by Surrey Police officers, but was returned to Mr Lowe in the months leading up to the killings.

The Independent Police Complaints Committee (IPCC) has spent the last 3 years investigating Surrey Police's actions. In their report released today, the IPCC said that there findings were "deeply concerning" and that the force hadn't followed 'basic' procedures and checks before returning the weapons.

Dorset man charged with child sexual offences

Roy Griffiths, 81, from Dorset, has been charged with eight sexual offences at a former cathedral school in Lincoln..

The charges are six counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 14 and two counts of inciting a boy under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency.

He has been bailed to appear at Lincoln District Magistrates Court on Thursday 8 June.

The charges come as part of Operation Redstone, an ongoing enquiry into allegations of abuse dating back to 1958 following a review of past safeguarding cases by the Diocese of Lincoln.

“Our investigation into historic abuse is very much ongoing. The enquiries centre around the former Cathedral School and cover a period of 1963 to 1970. We are keen to speak to former pupils who may have attended the school during that time. We are still reaching out to people who we think may be able to help us – both potential victims and any potential witnesses.”

– Detective Superintendent Rick Hatton, of Lincolnshire Police


Two further arrests over dog attack in Chatham

Two people previously arrested by officers investigating a dog attack which left a child seriously injured have been arrested again.

Kent Police was called to the incident in Jenkins Dale, Chatham, at 5.26pm on Tuesday 4 April 2017 and three people were arrested on suspicion of offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

A man, who was originally arrested on 4 April, was further arrested for supplying cannabis on Wednesday 26 April. He was released on the same day, pending further enquiries.

A teenager, who was initially arrested on 4 April, was arrested again on 21 April on suspicion of offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act. This person was released on the same day, pending further enquiries.

A woman, who was originally arrested on 5 April for dangerous dog offences, answered bail on 26 April. She was released, pending further enquiries, on the same day.

The injured girl remains in hospital with very serious injuries and officers from Kent Police are continuing to provide support to her and her family.

Assault in chicken shop left victim with head injuries

Credit: Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police has released CCTV images in connection with an assault in Reading.

The incident happened at around 3am on the 25th April in St Mary’s Butts, Reading town centre.

The victim, a 53-year-old man, got into a verbal altercation with an unknown man inside PFC chicken shop in St Mary’s Butts. The victim then left the shop and walked away.

The other man then left the shop and ran up behind the victim, assaulting him and causing him to fall to the floor unconscious.

The victim received serious head injuries and was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, where he remains.

“We are appealing to the man in this CCTV image or anyone who knows or recognises him to contact police because we believe he may have vital information about the incident. This was a serious act of violence against a victim who was walking away and defenceless. There were a large amount of people present on St Mary’s Butts at the time of the offence so we are appealing to anyone with any information to please contact police.”

– Investigating officer, Detective Constable Nathan Lampard


Police searching for Banbury man wanted for theft

Credit: Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police is appealing for the public’s help to trace a man who is wanted.

Adrian Fannon, aged 38, from Banbury, failed to attend Banbury Magistrates’ Court on 5 April with regards to theft offences.

He is also wanted for a Breach of Court Order and it is believed that he is in the Banbury area.

“We are very keen to trace Adrian, and I would like to hear from anyone who recognises him, or who knows where he might be."

– PC Katharine Knights, based at Banbury police station,

Royal Navy squadron perform on the Solent

14 P200 RN ships plus 3 coastal forces heritage trust vessels. Credit: Royal Navy

Spectators in the Solent were treated to the rare sight of all 14 vessels of the Royal Navy’s 1st Patrol Boat Squadron performing manoeuvres together today.

For the first time in at least a decade every one of the Archer-class ships staged a series of close, impressive formations, churning the waters of the eastern Solent white as they raced along at speeds of over 20 knots.

The boats, which joined the Royal Navy in the late 1980s, have just completed a five-year revamp which has added ten knots to their top speed and will help keep them in service into the mid-2030s.

The ships are based across nine locations in the UK from Faslane and Leith in Scotland, to Penarth near Cardiff, and Plymouth and Portsmouth on the south coast.

The ships are attached to University Royal Navy Units across the UK, giving students a taste of what the Senior Service does: HMS Blazer serves the universities of Portsmouth and Southampton, HMS Smiter for Oxford, and Pursuer for Glasgow and Strathclyde.

The three hours of intense manoeuvres also involved wartime vintage gunboat MGB81 and HMS Medusa, used in WW2 to protect harbours and the D-Day landings from U-boat attacks.

Two killed in Lower Beeding crash named by police

The two people who died on Tuesday, 18 April when their car left the A281 near Lower Beeding, Horsham, and crashed into a garden have now been formally identified by Sussex Police.

They were Ricarda Chapman, 25, of Covert Mead, Handcross, and Lewis James Gardner-Smith, 17, of Sandygate Lane, Lower Beeding.

The crash happened at around 10.45pm and involved a black Vauxhall Meriva.It occurred some 200 metres north of the A281's junction with Picts Lane. No other vehicle was involved.

Police are still keen to talk to anyone who saw what happened or who may have noticed the car being driven shortly beforehand.

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