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Man found guilty of Tilford double murder
October 29, 2014, 12:26 pm
A Farnham man has today been found guilty of two counts of murder following a trial at Guildford Crown Court.
82-year-old John Leo Lowe was found guilty of the murder of 66-year-old Christine Lee and her 41-year-old daughter Lucy Lee whose bodies were discovered at his farm in Waverley Lane, Tilford, on the morning of Sunday, 23 February.
He was also found guilty of one count of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
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Officers had responded to reports that a firearm had been discharged at the property and found the bodies of the two women after making a search of the farm and its grounds.
Both had died as a result of gunshot wounds. Three German Shepherds and a Mastiff were also found dead at the property – all with gunshot wounds. A firearm was recovered from the scene where Lowe was arrested on suspicion of murder.
A full investigation was immediately launched by detectives from the Surrey and Sussex Police Major Crime Team.
The shootings took place at Lowes farm, Keepers Cottage, from which he had run a dog and horse breeding business for many years. The two women had been helping him with the animals and had become dominant figures in Lowes life. However, the relationship between the three of them had deteriorated and arguments had taken place over money and the way the two women were taking care of Lowe and his animals.
Giving evidence in court, Lowe stated he never intended to kill Christine or Lucy but fired the gun accidentally at first one and then the other. This version of events was strongly refuted by the prosecution who argued Lowe knew exactly what he was doing and the deliberate firing of a shotgun at his unarmed and defenceless victims could not be done without the intention either to kill or to cause serious harm.
During the case the jury were played a 999 emergency call from Lucy Lee in which she stated her mother had been shot by Lowe and she was afraid she would also be shot if she returned to the house.
Lowe will be sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on Friday 31st October.