Wednesday 26 July 2017

'Our father was a terrorist living within our own home' - Dad killed wife and daughter in murder-suicide

Charlotte, left, and Claire Hart were killed by Lance Hart in 2016. Photo: Facebook
Charlotte, left, and Claire Hart were killed by Lance Hart in 2016. Photo: Facebook
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A father who killed his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself has been described as "vitriolic and a bully" by his two surviving sons.

"Controlling" Lance Hart shot his wife of 26 years, Claire, days after she decided to leave him.

He then fired a shotgun at close range at daughter Charlotte (19) before killing himself near the Castle Sports Complex in Spalding, Lincolnshire, in July 2016.

Son Luke Hart wrote on Facebook: "Our father was a terrorist living within our own home; he had no cause but to frighten his family and to generate his own esteem from trampling and bullying us.

"(The killing) was the result of decades of abuse and controlling and intimidating behaviour."

An inquest into the deaths last October heard Mrs Hart left her home in Moulton, Lincolnshire, on July 14 to move to a new property with the help of her family.

The court heard she was seen by a neighbour loading bags into a car and said: "He'll have a surprise when he gets home tonight. I've put up with enough for the past 15, 16 years."

The neighbour believed Mrs Hart (50) was joking as "they were always a happy couple together", the court heard.

Following the deaths, a 12-page note was found on a USB stick in Hart's car in which he explained his actions.

Coroner Paul Cooper said the note from Hart (57) contained the line: "Revenge is dish served cold, karma is a bitch."

Speaking to the Victoria Derbyshire programme, Luke added: "Someone like our father was a terrorist. He was planning to kill all of us three weeks before killing them.

"When it's your own father... the anger is inexplicable. It's so complicated and horrible and the media treated it like a one-off, but for us it was a culmination of a lifetime of struggle.

"He was vitriolic and a bully who would be verbally abusive and threaten us."

Speaking after the conclusion of the inquest, Luke and brother Ryan said: "Charlotte and our mum were our inspiration and purpose in life.

"They were the two most virtuous and beautiful people we have ever encountered. It is not possible to describe how unfairly and how cruelly they have been taken from us.

"Our world is a darker place because they have gone."

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