Spalding shootings: Man’s killing of wife and daughter ‘calculated’ – BBC News

Image caption Charlotte Hart, pictured with her mother Claire, was studying midwifery at Northampton University

A man who shot dead his wife and daughter before killing himself was “cold, calculated and scheming”, a coroner said.

Lance Hart, 57, killed his wife Claire, 50, and daughter Charlotte, 19, outside the Castle Sports Complex, in Spalding, Lincolnshire, on 19 July.

He shot the pair with a single-barrel shotgun before turning it on himself.

Coroner Paul Cooper returned a verdict of unlawful killing on Charlotte and Mrs Hart and suicide on Mr Hart.

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The inquest, at the South Lincolnshire coroner’s office in Boston, was told the killings happened days after Mrs Hart had left the family home following a breakdown in the couple’s marriage.

During the hearing it emerged a memory stick had been found in Mr Hart’s car, carrying details of what he planned to do.

‘Revenge served cold’

Mr Cooper said Mr Hart “knew exactly what he was going to do”.

“It was a single-barrel shotgun, so it was not a question of him just shooting his wife, he then had to unload it, put another cartridge in and shoot it again,” he said.

“In my view, this was a cold, calculated, scheming man who went out and deliberately murdered his wife and daughter.

“If he had lived… he would have been charged with murder, unfortunately he didn’t live to face the consequences of his actions. He took his own life.”

Image caption The shooting happened close to the Castle Swimming Pool, which was sealed off in the aftermath of the killings

Giving evidence, Det Insp Helen Evans confirmed the memory stick had been found in Mr Hart’s car.

Reading from the the document, Mr Cooper detailed how Mr Hart had written: “Revenge is a dish served cold.”

‘Virtuous and beautiful’

In a statement read out by the detective Mr and Mrs Hart’s sons, Ryan and Luke, said the shootings had made their world “a darker place”.

“Charlotte and our mum were our inspiration and purpose in life,” they said.

“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.

“We request that we may be left to grieve in peace and that our privacy is respected.”

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