Jurors in the trial of an elderly dog breeder from Surrey charged with murdering his partner and her daughter have found the accused John Lowe guilty of the double murder after four days of deliberation.
John Lowe, 82, was found guilty of deliberately shooting 66-year-old Christine Lee and her daughter Lucy Lee, 40, with a legally-held shotgun he normally used for killing rats. The pair were found dead, along with four dogs at Keepers Cottage Stud, Tilford, near Farnham, Surrey on February 23 this year.
Lowe had denied two counts of murder and a firearms charge. During the trial at Guildford Crown Court, Lowe told jurors that the deaths of Christine and Lucy Lee had been, a terrible accident. Jurors also heard he told police he wanted both women, put down.
Lowe was the subject of a BBC investigation in 2008 when consumers had reported him to local authorities over his treatment of dogs at his puppy farm. An undercover report revealed him to be an intimidating man easily given to threatening behaviour.
Reports in The Guardian claim that Surrey police face an investigation after evidence during the trial revealed that in March 2013 local police had taken Lowe’s weapons away over concerns he was unfit to have a gun licence having made threats to kill. Unfortunately his weapons were returned to him in July 2013 after the complaint was dropped and staff decided he was fit to have a gun.
Sentencing will take place on Friday.