Surrey

Farnham dog breeder John Lowe 'wanted women put down'

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

An 83-year-old man accused of shooting dead his partner and her daughter in Surrey told police the pair "had to be put down", jurors have heard.

John Lowe made the comments in a police van and cell after shooting Christine Lee, 66, and Lucy Lee, 40, at his dog breeding farm in February, Guildford Crown Court was told.

He has denied two counts of murder and a firearms charge.

Prosecuting, Mark Dennis QC said Mr Lowe also told police he was not sorry.

Mr Dennis said Mr Lowe told police he had intended to put down his four dogs but instead turned his weapon on the women before going on to kill the dogs as well.

'Torment over'

PC Richard McEwan, who took over responsibility for detaining Mr Lowe after his arrest, told the court Mr Lowe said: "They had to be put down, there was nothing else I could do.

"I have had terrible problems with Christine. They wouldn't let me eat."

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

He told the court the pensioner made further comments in a holding cell at Guildford police station, including: "I only got the gun this morning to put the dogs down.

"Came in and Lucy shouted 'What are you doing? You are not going to put my mother down'.

"They barracked me and I pulled the trigger. I do not even know if I meant to."

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

PC Christopher Fairclough said he heard Mr Lowe say: "I am not sorry. I am out of the problem. They are causing me problems every day."

Lucy Lee's sister, Stacey Banner, who spent part of 2013 living in a caravan with her partner in the grounds of Mr Lowe's farm, left the court in tears after Det Con David Jones gave an account of comments he said Mr Lowe made about her.

He told the court Mr Lowe said: "She had two young kids otherwise I would have sorted her out."

And Mr Jones repeated another comment allegedly made by Mr Lowe in which he said: "I know it's a terrible thing to say but I am glad those two people are out of my life. They have been giving me a terrible time."

A fourth officer, PC Philip Potter, said Mr Lowe told him he would rather have put the women down than the dogs.

He told the court the defendant said: "It was funny how she got shot. I had loaded the gun to put down four dogs. The gun went off completely by accident."

He added Mr Lowe told him he had never had an accident with a shotgun before, and if one of the women had not pushed through the door it would not have happened.

"I have been around shotguns all my life and that's the first mistake I have made. I was carrying the gun and must have cocked it," the officer said Mr Lowe told him.

Jurors saw video from the holding cell Mr Lowe was in and heard him asking the custody sergeant to contact the RSPCA about four killed dogs, as well as four chihuahuas, and a number of tame cats that remained in the house.

The trial continues.

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

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites