Double murderer John Lowe to ‘die in prison’ after being jailed for life

October 31, 2014
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Callous murderer John Lowe is to “die in prison” after being sentenced to life behind bars, with a minimum term of 25 years, for the murders of Christine and Lucy Lee.

Lowe was, earlier this week, found guilty of murdering Christine, 66, and her 40-year-old daughter, Lucy, at his home in Tilford.

Both women were shot at close range with a double-barrelled shotgun at Keepers Cottage Stud, on February 23 this year.

Following a trial, jurors also convicted Lowe of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Sentencing Lowe to life in prison on Friday (October 31), Mr Justice Singh said: “On the morning of Sunday February 23, you lost your temper and took your shotgun out of its locked cabinet and used it to kill Christine Lee.

“She died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, fired at close range at an angle from above.

“Lucy Lee was able to use her mobile phone to make a frantic and desperate call to the emergency services on 999.

“She said that you had shot her mum and that she feared you were going to shoot her as well.

“Nevertheless, in an act of extraordinary courage, she went back: no doubt to see if there was anything she could do to help her mother.

“You then used the shotgun to shoot her twice, once to the back of the head and then fatally to the chest, again from an angle from above.

“In the meantime, you must have had to reload your weapon because it had two barrells.”


 

During the trial Lowe had argued that the shootings were accidents. He claimed Christine died as she pulled the gun from his hands while Lucy was shot when the gun accidentally went off on two separate occasions.

However Mr Justice Singh said Lowe intended to kill.

“Having heard the evidence at your trial, I have come to the clear conclusion that you did have an intention to kill both Christine Lee and Lucy Lee rather than cause them serious bodily harm,” he said. “I form that view because of the close range with which you used the shotgun firing at their chests.

“I also form that view because in statements which you made to the police after the incident you said that you had ‘put them down’.

“On the evidence heard at the trial I have formed the view that, having killed Christine Lee, you then shot Lucy Lee in the back of her head after she made the 999 call, then reloaded your gun and pursued her outside the cottage, with the intention of making sure that this time she died.”

But he accepted that there was no pre-meditation.

Lowe must serve a minimum term of 25 years behind bars for the murders of Christine and Lucy, and was also sentenced to 10 years in prison, to run concurrently, for the possession of a firearm charge.

Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC read out a statement from Stacy Banner, daughter of Christine and sister of Lucy, to the court. In it she spoke of her “ordeal” of having to go to the mortuary.

“I cannot believe my mum and sister are dead and I will never see them again,” she said. “As my big sister, Lucy often comforted and protected me.

“Every time I close my eyes I see my sister. I have nightmares. I am haunted by what John Lowe did to them.”


 

Ms Banner also said Christine and Lucy’s deaths have had an impact on her relationships with friends and family.

“I function because I have children but I don’t live,” she said. “I don’t have family to watch my children going up.”

The court also heard a statement by Christine’s sister, Julia James, which said: “It’s very hard to wake up every day without them. I feel despair and physically and emotionally weak.

“Christine and Lucy were lovely people; kind, witty and warm. I miss them more than I can say.

“Lucy had so much creative talent and had everything to live for, as did Christine, my sister.

“It’s tremendously difficult to wake up to the reality that I will never see them again.”

Ian Lawrie QC, defending Lowe, told the court his client had accepted the jury’s decision but said small things in his relationship with Christine and Lucy could have “sparked” his anger on February 23.

Addressing the court, Mr Lawrie said: “I have to be blunt, the reality is whatever sentence is passed, and there has to be a sentence that reflects the gravity, he’s going to die in prison.”

Mr Lawrie told the court Lowe denied Ms Banner’s allegation that he threatened to kill her and said it should be treated with “scepticism”, saying that she didn’t follow proceed with the complaint.

Speaking outside court following the hearing, an emotional Ms Banner said: “He’s never getting out. He can never hurt anyone again, can he?”

Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/double-murderer-john-lowe-die-8028293


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