Plymouth gunman 'ferociously' attacked two teens the year before he killed five people in Keyham

Jake Davison killed five people before turning the gun on himself in August 2021

A teenage boy was knocked unconscious in a "shockingly ferocious" attack by the man who would go on to carry out a mass shooting in Plymouth less than a year later, a court has heard.

Jurors at the inquest into the Keyham tragedy heard that Jake Davison attacked two teenagers, a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, in Plymouth's central park in September 2020.

Bridget Dolan KC, counsel to the inquest, said Davison aimed at least five punches at the boy after another child verbally abused him.

Ms Dolan said: ''CCTV footage shows the boy on the ground, having lost consciousness, or at least not moving or resisting, and the punches continue.

"There are more than five punches at the young man. Maybe seven, maybe nine.

"We then see the young woman approaching and he aims a single hit, arm extended, to her.

"The investigation of the boy's injuries revealed he had been hit so hard he had a two-inch cut above his eyebrow, he was bleeding, and needed hospital treatment."

Davison was given his gun back after the assault, when he was considered to once again be 'low risk'.

Davison was not prosecuted for the attack, which was dealt with through an apology, "restorative justice" and an anger management course.

David Rees, police firearms licensing officer at the time, told the court he has recently seen CCTV footage of the incident.

"I was quite shocked by the ferocity of the assault," he said.

"Knowing what I’ve seen, I wish I had questioned the decision-making process [not to charge Davison with a criminal offence]. I should have questioned it."

Davison's shotgun and licence were confiscated by police in December 2020.

Following another review by Mr Rees, Davison was once again classed as 'low risk' and both were returned to him in July 2021.

Four weeks later he shot and killed five people, including a three-year-old girl, in Keyham.

The inquest continues.

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