Home News Mass killer was given gun back to use in ‘sport’

Mass killer was given gun back to use in ‘sport’

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Details of Plymouth killer Jake Davison’s legal gun ownership were revealed as part of an Independent Office for Police Conduct probe.

It found police had seized Davison’s firearm seven months earlier after he admitted assaulting two youths.

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said Davison, 22, had the gun under licence for clay pigeon shooting.

He had applied for a shotgun certificate in July 2017 and received one in January 2018. He bought a shotgun that March.

Last year, after Davison admitted the attacks, Devon and Cornwall Police decided the offences fitted the criteria for its “Pathfinder” scheme through which offenders have their caution or charge deferred after agreeing to condi- tions. But a Pathfinder worker raised concerns with the force’s Firearms Licensing Department about his weapon, and his gun and certificate were taken in December.

Both were returned following Davison’s completion of the scheme in March and a review by the force on July 9 this year.

A month later he killed five people, including his mother, before turning the gun on himself.

A spokesman for the police watchdog said: “The investigation will consider what background and suitability checks were made by the police. It will also look at the force decision to divert Mr Davison from prosecution for the assaults last year.”

Mr Sawyer said firearms were “part of a rural economy”, adding: “They’re heavily regulated…that’s really important for public safety.”

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