Surrey

Farnham farm murder 'was dreadful display of violence'

John Lowe
Image caption Dog breeder John Lowe denies two counts of murder and a firearms charge

An 83-year-old gunned down his partner and her daughter in a "dreadful display of violence" that left a "scene of carnage" at his farm, a court heard.

John Lowe shot Christine Lee, 66, and Lucy, 40, at Keepers Cottage Stud dog breeding farm near Farnham, Surrey, in February, Guildford Crown Court heard.

During a 999 call Lucy Lee said: "I don't know if I'm going to be alive if I go back in there. He shot my mum."

Mr Lowe, a dog breeder, denies two counts of murder and a firearms charge.

Image copyright INS
Image caption Christine Lee's body was found inside the main building at the farm

Mark Dennis QC, prosecuting, told the jury that during a "desperate" call, Ms Lee said she believed she was about to be killed by Mr Lowe.

He said: "The female caller was in a frightened and frantic state, saying that a man called John Lowe had just shot her mother and that she was herself running for her life.

"Moments later, showing extraordinary courage, the caller indicated that she had made the decision to go back to the scene of the incident, saying as she ran: 'I'm gonna go back for him but I'll die', followed by 'I'm nearly outside the house and I fear he's going to shoot me'.

"Her last words to the operator were: 'I don't know if I'm going to be alive if I go back in there. He shot my mum. Bye'."

Image copyright INS
Image caption The body of Lucy Lee was discovered outside

Christine Lee's body was found inside the main building at the farm, while the body of Lucy Lee was discovered outside, near the animal pens.

When police officers arrived they were met with a "scene of carnage", according to Mr Dennis.

He added: "Upon arrest he [Mr Lowe] made no apology for shooting the two women."

Post-mortem results indicated Christine Lee had been shot in the chest from less than a foot away and Lucy Lee received a fatal shot to the back of the head.

Mr Lowe, who allegedly intended to "put down" four dogs that morning, claims his shotgun went off and accidently hit Christine Lee at point blank range after an argument.

He had a "love-hate relationship" with the women and felt they were trying to control his affairs, according to Mr Dennis.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The court was told police officers were met with a "scene of carnage"

In police interviews Mr Lowe also claimed he tried to kill himself after the shootings but his guns failed to go off.

Mr Dennis said: "This is a man who has known and used shotguns for many years who has fired and reloaded at least once.

"You might have thought if he had wanted to commit suicide he, of all people, would have known how to."

Four dogs - three German shepherds and a Labrador - were also found shot.

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