Keyham inquest: Part of form assessing Jake Davison's shotgun application left empty

The scene of the Keyham attack in Plymouth

A crucial part of a form assessing Jake Davison's first shotgun application was left empty, a court has heard.

Four years before he shot and killed five people in Plymouth, Davison applied to Devon and Cornwall Police for a certificate to legally own a weapon.

Police staff completed a document, known as 'Form 57', setting out what they knew about Davison through checks of the Police National Computer, Police National Database and other IT systems.

Jurors at the inquest were shown the form which included a ten-point checklist.

Sketches of Stephen Carder Credit: Elizabeth Cook

It records that Davison's history of violent incidents and possible ongoing mental health issues showed up on police databases.

The final section, point ten, requires the firearms enquiry officer to use the police's 'risk matrix' and assign a score to the applicant based on whether they are high, medium or low risk to own a shotgun.

But on Davison's form, this box was left empty.

Firearms licensing supervisor Stephen Carder, who signed off on Davison's application, told the court he 'never even noticed' the box at point ten until he was preparing for the inquest.

He said: "I didn't know what it was for."

Mr Carder was asked why, knowing the Home Office's guidance and knowing Davison had a history of violence, he agreed with the assessment that he was 'low risk.'

He replied: "Obviously mistakenly taking a holistic view of the information provided in the report to reach a decision."

Mr Carder claimed he was not given proper training to do his job and had an 'extremely heavy workload', but admitted his decision to grant Davison's initial application was flawed.

The inquest continues.