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Police knew of trouble in home where mum and child slain

A MAN suspected of shooting dead a mother and child had been known to police for two years, it emerged yesterday.

A senior police officer said a "number of incidents" involving both the suspect and the victim, Christine Chambers (38), had been reported to Essex Police.

Officers found the bodies of Ms Chambers and her two-year-old daughter Shania at their home in Braintree, Essex, England, yesterday morning.

Assistant chief constable Gary Beautridge, head of the Essex serious crime directorate, said Ms Chambers' other daughter, aged 10, was able to flee the scene and alert family members who called police.

Mr Beautridge said a 50-year-old man was under guard in hospital after the shootings. He is undergoing treatment for shotgun injuries which are not thought to be life-threatening.

Mr Beautridge said: "All people in this incident are known to each other."

He continued: "There have been incidents where contact between the man in custody and Ms Chambers have been referred to Essex Police."

Mr Beautridge said Essex Police had referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and there would be a "full and fundamental review of the circumstances surrounding this contact".

The man in hospital, named locally as David Oakes, is believed to be Shania's father. He had not yet been arrested, Mr Beautridge said.

Police said they were not searching for anyone else in connection with the deaths.

Irish Independent