Today at the inquest touching the death of Shane Adrian Gilmer, the jury returned a conclusion of ‘unlawful killing’.
Professor Paul Marks, HM Senior Coroner said that he would be making a prevention of future deaths report, to raise concerns about the danger of crossbows which are currently unregulated.
In memory of Shane, his partner, Laura is launching a campaign, to call for legislation governing crossbows to be brought in line with firearms laws and prevent future deaths.
Statement by Laura Sudgen, Partner of Shane.
“Shane was a loving partner and a wonderful dad and step-dad; he is missed every day by me and the rest of his family. It was clear from his final words how much he loved us all and I hope he knew how much we all loved him.
Shane was murdered in the most cruel and terrifying way imaginable. It is incomprehensible that the sale and ownership of such a lethal, medieval weapon remains unregulated in our modern society.
There are no laws in place to help prevent crossbows from falling into the hands of twisted and dangerous individuals like Anthony Lawrence.
This lethal weapon has been forgotten about in the government’s strategy on tackling gun and knife crime. That’s why today, in loving memory of Shane, and to honour our beautiful daughter that he never got to meet, I am launching a campaign to call for legislation governing crossbows to be brought in line with firearms laws.
Over the coming weeks I will be speaking with MPs and the Home Secretary to see what can be done to reform crossbows laws. I’d like to thank my family, friends and legal team for their unwavering support through such a truly harrowing experience.”
Statement by Gemma Vine, Ison Harrison Solicitors.
“The laws that govern the use of crossbows in the UK are woefully inadequate. In recent years there have been several high-profile murders, but still crossbows are readily available to purchase for as little as £150. They are powerful and life-endangering weapons that ought to require the same checks and licences as gun owners.
The Crossbows Act 1987 simply makes it an offence for crossbows to be bought by or sold to those under the age of 18. In contrast, the Firearms Act 1968 requires those wishing to possess a firearm or ammunition to be assessed by the police, and also restricts ownership in certain circumstances. These checks mean that members of the public are protected from potential misuse. Yet we do not know how many crossbows there are in circulation in the UK or in what circumstances they are held. Something must be done to help stop such horrific attacks and deaths.”
Gemma Vine is a highly experienced and nationally recognised solicitor with a specialism in representing bereaved families at inquests.
You can view recent coverage of the Inquest here: