Family ask for public support as shooting anniversary approaches

Michael Atherton shot three of his relatives dead before turning the gun on himself Credit: Durham Police

A year on from a family being shot dead in County Durham, the victims' relatives say they need the support from the public to get the gun laws changed.

Last New Year's Day a taxi driver, Michael Atherton, shot dead his partner Susan McGoldrick. He then killed her sister and niece Alison and Tanya Turnbull.

"When I think about the first anniversary it's quite hard because you think about it when you wake up, when you go to sleep, when you shut your eyes... every New Year is going to be horrible for us."

The family have now set up a petition to change the law so that people cannot own a gun if they have a history of domestic violence or substance abuse.

"If everyone could sign my petition before they go out celebrating tonight it would make things a lot easier for me. I haven't got my mam or my sister or my aunty to celebrate New Year with. But if I can succeed in these law changes I'd be absolutely over the moon."

You can sign the family's petition here or at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41060