Crossbow Inquest: Coroner rules East Yorkshire man killed unlawfully by neighbour

An East Yorkshire man who was killed with a crossbow by his neighbour is ruled to have died unlawfully.

Shane Gilmer died after his next next-door neighbour, Anthony Lawrence, broke into his house in the village of Southburn, near Driffield, East Yorkshire, in January 2018, Lawrence was later found dead in a camper van in North Yorkshire.

Mr Gilmer's partner Laura Sugden was also shot by Lawrence but survived the attack.

On Friday, an inquest jury in Hull concluded that Mr Gilmer was unlawfully killed.

Ms Sugden said that it is "unbelievable" that ownership of "such a lethal, medieval weapon" remains unregulated.

The coroner said that he is writing to the Home Secretary about his concerns over crossbow sales.

Anthony Lawrence was found dead after the attack.

Speaking outside court, Ms Sugden said: "Shane was murdered in the most cruel and terrifying way imaginable.

"It is unbelievable that the sale and ownership of such a lethal, medieval weapon remains unregulated in our modern society.

"There are no laws in place to help prevent crossbows from falling into the hands of twisted and dangerous individuals like Anthony Lawrence."

Ms Sugden, who was pregnant at the time of the attack and has since had another daughter, said: "This lethal weapon has been forgotten about in the Government's strategy on tackling gun and knife crime.

"That's why today, in loving memory of Shane, and to honour our beautiful daughter that he never got to meet, I am launching a campaign to call for legislation governing crossbows to be brought in line with firearms laws."

The week-long inquest heard that Lawrence had broken into the house next door to his through the loft space and shot Mr Gilmer in his arm and torso after waiting for the couple to return from an evening out.

The bolt damaged Mr Gilmer's liver and kidney before embedding in his spine.

The couple were taken to Hull Royal Infirmary but Mr Gilmer, who had managed to tell 999 operators what happened to him, died on arrival.

Ms Sugden told the inquest that Lawrence had attacked her and Mr Gilmer after receiving an eviction notice.

She had reported Lawrence to the police and to the letting agency after the smell of cannabis coming through a vent into a bedroom had exacerbated her daughter's asthma.