Keyham inquest: Gunman's father warned police Jake Davison should not be allowed a shotgun

Jake Davison launched the attack in Keyham in August 2021

The father of a gunman responsible for one the UK's worst mass shootings told police his son should not be allowed a shotgun licence, but he never heard back from the force, an inquest heard.

Mark Davison told the jury today (25 January) that he had refused to buy an air rifle for his son, Jake, when he was 13 or 14 because he was "frightened you'd put a .22 (calibre) in your mum".

The Plymouth shooting left six people dead in August 2021.

Jake Davison killed his mother Maxine after a row, then shot dead four others in a 12-minute attack before turning the gun on himself.

Three-year-old Sophie Martyn, her father, Lee, 43, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, died on the evening of 12 August in the Keyham area of the city.

The Weatherby pump action shotgun used by Jake Davison to kill four people and then himself above his 12-gauge gun Credit: PA

The shooter's father Mark Davison told the inquest that Jake and his mother Maxine had a volatile relationship.

He described seeing holes in doors at their home and described them fighting like a "cat and dog."

He told the inquest that in 2017 he had had a call from his daughter Zoe, Jake's sister, telling him that Jake was planning to get a shotgun licence.

He said he told her it was not a good idea, because of the situation between Jake and his mother.

As a result, he said he made a phone call to Charles Cross Police station saying Jake lived in a volatile household and should not have a shotgun.

He said he explained to the police that Jake was autistic, was on medication and even said he had a police record himself because he thought that would prevent Jake from being allowed a shotgun.

Mr Davison said he never heard anything back from the police.

The inquest heard that Mr Davison was told there was no record of the call and he angrily replied: "You’s have messed up. It won’t bring anybody back.

"It won’t change anything...We’re talking about a shotgun and I knew he lived in an argumentative volatile house, tearing it apart with his mum.

"My other children moved out lickety-split, and I didn’t want a shotgun going into that house."

The jury was told the Independent Office for Police Conduct had investigated whether a telephone call had been made to police by Jake's father.

Three separate investigations of the police telephone system in 2021 failed to find any record of the call. It was explained though that calls were deleted after three years and Mr Davison said he made the call in 2017.

Asked whether he was trying to distance himself from responsibility of what happened by telling the jury about the phone call, Mr Davison said no. 

He said he had tried his absolute best to get the police's attention and had been expecting a call back.

He said: "It’s got to be logged, I’m sure it has and somebody’s calling up with a complaint about a shotgun? That’s got to be logged.

"I was pretty confident when I contacted the police about something as serious as a shotgun. We’re not talking about a water pistol. I thought there would be a record of it."

The inquest continues.

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