In 2018, Shane Gilmer was killed by a crossbow fired by a neighbour who broke into their home in the north of England. Sputnik spoke to Shane’s girlfriend, who is campaigning to restrict the sale of this kind of weapons.
Laura Sugden has launched an online petition calling on the British government to make it harder to buy crossbows. She was five months pregnant when the father of her child, Shane Gilmer, was killed with the use of this weapon.
Shane, 30, and Laura were attacked in their home near Driffield, East Yorkshire when they returned from a night out in January 2018.
Shane’s death was the third crossbow murder in Britain in the space of 15 months.
In November 2018, Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo, 51, murdered his pregnant ex-wife, Devi, 35, at her home in Ilford, east London. She was almost full term and miraculously her baby boy survived.
In April 2019, Terence Whall, 39, used a crossbow to kill Gerry Corrigan, 74, at his home in Anglesey in north Wales.
Unmathallegadoo and Whall have both been jailed for life, but Shane’s killer, Anthony Lawrence, cheated justice by killing himself a few days after the incident.
But Laura is determined to change the law to make it harder for crossbows to be purchased.
Laura told Sputnik: “I was terrified to find out how easily available crossbows are, given the extent of the damage it has done to my family. To think that anyone over the age of 18 can access these for a very little amount is unbelievable”.