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Gunman’s dad warned police not to grant gun licence before he killed 5

Mark Davison with son Jake Davison, Davison's shotguns, Davison in a blue shirt.

Jake Davison, 22, used a pump-action Weatherby shotgun to kill five people (Pictures: PA/Facebook)

The dad of a man who killed five people in a horrific shooting said he tried to stop police from giving his son a gun licence.

Jake Davison, 22, used a pump-action Weatherby shotgun during his spree of violence in Plymouth on August 12, 2021.

He killed his mum Maxine, 51, after a row at their home, before shooting dead three-year-old Sophie Martyn her dad Lee, 43, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66. He then turned the gun on himself.

Davison’s dad Mark today told an inquest in Exeter that he tried to warn police about how his son would punch holes in doors.

He said: ‘I tried to stop that boy getting a shotgun because he lived in a volatile environment. They did say they would get back in touch with me, I think I spoke to support staff.

‘I thought the fact I made a complaint would be enough, I chased it up at a later date. I said I was Jake’s dad, he lived in a volatile environment.

‘I explained about the doors broken and said he was autistic and I said I have a criminal record, what would stop me from getting that gun? I tried the absolute best to get the police’s attention, that’s why I said that.

Mark Davison with son Jake Davison.

Mark said his son punched holes in doors and lived in a ‘volatile environment’ (Picture: Facebook)

A candlelit vigil takes place at North Down Crescent Park on August 13, 2021 in Plymouth, England.

Plymouth locals holding a vigil for the five people killed in the shooting (Picture: Getty)

‘We are not talking about a water pistol here, I was pretty sure that in itself would be enough that it would be investigated.’

Davison applied for a shotgun certificate in July 2017 and Devon and Cornwall Police issued it in January 2018.

The force revoked Davison’s licence and seized his shotgun in 2020, after Davison assaulted two teenagers in a park, but returned them both the year after – just weeks before the killings.

The inquest previously heard Davison had officially declared his autism on his application and has given consent for his GP to share information with police about his medical history.

Undated handout photo issued by Plymouth HM Coroner of a photo of Weatherby pump action shotgun (top) used by Jake Davison next to a police issue tactical single barrel 12-gauge pump action shotgun (below) shown in the inquest into the deaths of five people shot dead by Jake Davison. Issue date: Thursday January 19, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story INQUEST Keyham . Photo credit should read: Plymouth HM Coroner/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

The police granted Davison a licence for a shotgun in January 2018 (Picture: PA)

Jake Davison in a blue shirt.

Davison has officially declared his autism on his application (Picture: PA)

His dad explained how he thought his son’s interest in guns was ‘an autistic thing’.

He said: ‘Ask him anything about a military weapon, he would know about the rounds in a magazine.

‘But he liked guns, lots of kids have hobbies. He would soak up information really well.

‘I said to Maxine: “You have got to try minimise what he is taking in [online],” but she shot me down in flames. I didn’t really address it anymore.’

The hearing continues.

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