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Dog breeder sentenced for double murder

A pensioner who shot dead his partner and her daughter has been jailed for life - to serve a minimum of 25 years.

Dog breeder, John Lowe, who's 82, gunned down Christine and Lucy Lee at his farm near Farnham. Earlier this week, Surrey Police apologised after seven guns were returned to the pensioner just months before.

The judge told him "there was no doubt you intended to kill". From Guildford Crown Court, Divya Kohli reports.

Lowe 'grinned' at supporters prior to sentencing

Stacy Banner, whose mother and sister were killed by John Lowe, wept in court after the 25 year sentence was handed down.

Stacy Banner wept in court

A woman in the public gallery then shouted: "What about all the animals he's killed?"

Delivering his sentence, Mr Justice Singh said Lowe "lost his temper" when he took out his shotgun on February 23 to kill Christine Lee.

"She died of a single shot wound to the chest fired at close range from above," the judge said.

"Lucy was able to use her mobile phone to make a frantic and desperate call to the emergency services on 999.

John Lowe with Lucy Lee's mother, Christine

"She said that you had shot her mum and that she feared that you were going to shoot her as well.

"Nevertheless, in an act of extraordinary courage, she went back to see if there was anything she could do to help her mother."

Lowe, dressed in a plaid jacket, shirt and tie, with his white hair combed back, had earlier grinned at his supporters in the public gallery as he entered the dock for the sentencing.

He then waved as he returned to his cell when the hearing was briefly adjourned.

Lowe was found guilty of two counts of murder and a third of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.


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Puppy farm breeder sentenced to life for double murder

An elderly dog breeder is likely to die in jail after he was sentenced to at least 25 years for shooting his partner and her daughter dead at his puppy farm.

John Lowe. Credit: PA

John Lowe, 82, was found guilty of murdering 66-year-old Christine Lee and her daughter Lucy Lee, 40, with his shotgun at his home near Farnham, Surrey, in February.

Sentencing Lowe at Guildford Crown Court, Mr Justice Singh praised the "extraordinary courage" of Lucy Lee after she returned to face her killer following a frantic 999 call on the day of the shootings.

Lowe, flanked by three security officers, winked at his supporters in the public gallery as he was led from the dock.

Families pay tribute to John Lowe's victims in court

Stacy Banner at Guildford Crown Court after John Lowe was convicted of murdering her mother and sister Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The woman who lost her mother and sister in a double shooting by Surrey pensioner John Lowe has said she is "haunted" by their murders and that her grief "came crashing down" when she had to identify their bodies.

In a statement read to Guildford Crown Court this morning, Stacy Banner said: "Every time I close my eyes I see them. I have nightmares. I'm haunted by what John did to them."

Ms Banner, who has criticised Surrey Police for returning Lowe's guns to him months before the shootings, said counselling had not helped her.

In another statement read by the prosecutor, Christine Lee's sister Julia James said she had felt "physically and emotionally weak" since the deaths.

She said: "Christine and Lucy were lovely people - kind, witty and generous, I miss them more than I can say."

Ian Lawrie QC, mitigating, said his client was "highly likely" to die during his sentence and Lowe had perceived his two victims as "his jailers."

Lawyers say age should not 'dramatically' reduce sentence

A pensioner who shot dead his partner and his partner's daughter should not have his sentence "dramatically" reduced because of his age, a court has heard.

John Lowe, 82, was found guilty of murdering 66-year-old Christine Lee and her daughter Lucy, 40, at his home near Farnham in Surrey in February.

At his sentencing hearing at Guildford Crown Court, prosecutor Mark Dennis QC said the starting point for a double murder with the use of a firearm was a jail term of 30 years.


He wanted the women "put down": Sentencing today of John Lowe

A man found guilty of murdering his partner and her daughter is due to be sentenced today.

John Lowe, who's eighty two, denied the murders and a firearms charge, claiming the deaths of Christine and Lucy Lee at his puppy farm in Tilford near Farnham were a "terrible accident".

But jurors at Guildford Crown Court heard he wanted the women "put down".

John Lowe Credit: ITV Meridian

Surrey Police to be investigated after double shooting

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the decision of Surrey Police to return licensed guns to a man who went on to kill two women. In February, Christine Lee and her daughter Lucy Lee were fatally shot by John Lowe, who was convicted of their murder at Guildford Crown Court.

Following the shooting Surrey Police referred their prior contact with Mr Lowe to the IPCC. This contact involved the seizure of a number of licensed shotguns from Mr Lowe in March 2013, which were returned to him in July 2013.

At this stage, the IPCC decided to carry out a supervised investigation led by Surrey Police who commissioned reviews from firearms licensing experts at Hampshire Constabulary and North Yorkshire Police. The investigation looked into Surrey Police’s decision to return the firearms. The reviews from the supervised investigation were completed in September and identified potential gross misconduct issues.

As a result the IPCC is now carrying out an independent investigation. Surrey Police has already issued misconduct notices to three Surrey Police staff members.

PCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said: "Two women have tragically lost their lives, and their family and friends deserve to know the circumstances in which the guns were returned to Mr Lowe. It also is in the interests of the wider public that Surrey Police’s decision-making in these circumstances is independently scrutinised.”

Sister of shooting victim speaks outside court

The sister of Lucy Lee, who was shot and killed by dog breeder John Lowe at a farm near Farnham has issued a statement.

Stacy Banner spoke to reporters outside Guildford Crown Court.

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