Jake Davison killed five people in a gun rampage in the Devon city - PA

Jake Davison killed five people in a gun rampage in the Devon city – PA

Police have been accused of handing the Plymouth mass shooter a “licence to kill” by the families of his victims as the inquests into their death concluded.

Jake Davison killed his mother Maxine, 51, and then shot dead three-year-old Sophie Martyn, her father Lee, 43, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, during an eight-minute massacre in August 2021.

The 22-year-old gunman legally held a shotgun certificate and weapon having been obsessed with firearms from a young age due to a trait in autism of developing a “special interest”.

Jurors at a long-running inquest held at Exeter Racecourse gave their conclusions on Monday afternoon, ruling each victim was unlawfully killed.

Following the hearing, a statement was released on the behalf of the Washington, Martyn and Shepherd families.

It said: “It is beyond us how Davison, a man with a known history of violence, mental health issues, and with no real need to own a firearm, was granted a licence to possess a gun in the first place.

“Warning signs were ignored and a licence to kill was granted.”

In the jury conclusions in the inquest into the victims of Keyham gunman Jake Davison, they found: “The decision to return the shotgun and licence to the perpetrator in July 2021 was fundamentally flawed and as a result failed to protect the public and the peace.”

The jury also found: “The use of the Pathfinder scheme in this instance was wholly inadequate in reducing the perpetrator’s future offending.”

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