Third worker accused of misconduct over gun licence for incel killer

Third police employee is accused of gross misconduct over decision to renew shotgun certificate of incel killer Jake Davison before he gunned down five

  • The IOPC said the Devon and Cornwall employee had been served with a notice
  • The watchdog said the employee was part of the force’s firearms licensing team
  • They said that they were involved in granting a certificate to the gunman in 2017

A third police worker has been accused of gross misconduct over renewing a shotgun licence for incel killer Jake Davison.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct revealed the Devon and Cornwall employee – who has not been named – had been served with the notice.

The watchdog said the employee was part of the force’s firearms licensing department and was involved in granting a certificate to the gunman in 2017.

The pre-inquest hearing heard today also heard the Plymouth shooter’s GP declined to comment on whether the 22-year-old was suitable to hold a firearms licence.

He had refused to remark when asked by the police force considering his application, the court heard.

Davison killed his mother Maxine, 51, after a row at her home before shooting dead four others in a 12-minute attack on August 12 in the Keyham area of the city.

Three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father Lee, 43, were shot dead in front of horrified onlookers as they walked their pet dog.

He then shot Stephen Washington, 59, in a nearby park, before shooting Kate Shepherd, 66.

The apprentice crane operator turned the shotgun on himself before armed officers reached him.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct revealed the Devon and Cornwall employee – who has not been named – had been served with the notice over Davison (pictured)

Three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father Lee, 43, were shot dead in front of horrified onlookers as they walked their pet dog

Davison applied for a shotgun certificate in July 2017 and after the application was processed by Devon and Cornwall Police, a certificate was issued to him in January 2018 which was valid for five years.

The pre-inquest hearing heard on Thursday that as part of a child death review being undertaken by the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust into Sophie Martyn’s homicide, investigators had sought information from Davison’s GP about his firearms licence application.

Paediatric consultant Dr Carolyn Adcock, who is the trust’s designated doctor for safeguarding children, told the hearing the review would be considering ‘whether the GP involved had responded appropriately to a request for information by the police when there was a request for the provision of a gun licence by the perpetrator’.

‘The GP’s response was that there was a request made for information,’ she said.

‘The GP wrote declining to give information because he did not feel he was in a position to be qualified to comment on the personality of a patient to say whether or not they were safe to hold a gun licence.’

Davison killed his mother Maxine (pictured), 51, after a row at her home before shooting dead four others in a 12-minute attack on August 12 in the Keyham area of the city


He then shot Stephen Washington (right), 59, in a nearby park, before shooting Kate Shepherd (left), 66

In the wake of the shootings, the Home Office announced the police will now have to check someone’s medical history before issuing a gun licence.

All firearms applications must be accompanied by a medical document signed by a registered, practising doctor.

New statutory guidance also says any relevant health records – particularly any information on mental health, neurological conditions and substance abuse – will have to be reviewed as part of the process.

It means police, for the first time, will be legally required to follow the guidance to help improve standards and consistency across forces in the UK.

Police have also been told to review an applicant’s social media accounts and financial history as well as carry out domestic violence checks in cases where officers believe more evidence is needed before authorising a licence.

As well as the coroner’s investigation, two other inquiries are already under way into the shootings.

The IOPC is examining the decision by the Devon and Cornwall force to return Davison’s shotgun certificate and weapon to him just weeks before the killings after they were seized following an allegation of assault.

The IOPC previously said a police staff member who handled Davison’s original shotgun application and also decided to return the weapon had been issued with a gross misconduct notice.

A police officer who investigated the assault against Davison was issued with a misconduct notice.

 

The National Police Chiefs Council is also leading an investigation, in conjunction with the local police and crime commissioner, into the force’s firearms policies and procedures.

Ian Arrow, senior coroner for Plymouth and South Devon, was told the IOPC would be able to provide a final report by the end of January, but it was ‘premature’ to say whether disciplinary proceedings would follow.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it would be able to submit its report by the end of February but was still awaiting evidence relating to ballistics and the contents of Davison’s mobile phone.

Members of the victims’ families attended the hearing, as did relatives of Davison.

He had received mental health support during the coronavirus lockdown and had been in contact with a telephone helpline service in Plymouth run by the Livewell Southwest organisation.

Social media usage by Davison (pictured) suggested an obsession with ‘incel’ culture, meaning ‘involuntary celibate’, as well as an interest in guns and the US

Social media usage by Davison suggested an obsession with ‘incel’ culture, meaning ‘involuntary celibate’, as well as an interest in guns and the US.

Reports have suggested Davison’s mother had been struggling to get help for her son, having become concerned about his mental health.

A further pre-inquest review will take place on March 15.

A man has also come forward to allege he reported to police he was assaulted by Davison outside a supermarket in Plymouth in 2016, which the IOPC is investigating.

The IOPC said a one pump-action shotgun was recovered from Davison’s possession for which he held a certificate. Several air weapons were found by police at his home address.

Regional director David Ford said: ‘We have gathered and reviewed a considerable amount of information in the course of our investigation.

‘While our investigative work is close to completion, we have followed the evidence as it has emerged and now have a small number of remaining actions to undertake.

‘We have provided a preliminary report to the coroner this week and are keeping the families and Devon and Cornwall Police updated throughout our investigation.’

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