The sons of a man who killed their mother and sister in a double murder-suicide have opened up about living with their ‘controlling’ father before the horrific gun attack last year.
Lance Hart, 57, penned a 12-page suicide note before he blasted his wife Claire, 50, and their 19-year-old daughter Charlotte before turning the shotgun on himself in Spalding, Lincolnshire, on July 19, 2016.
His sons Luke and Ryan Hart, who were abroad when the killings took place, have said that warning signs of a murderer can easily go unnoticed.
Luke (right) and Ryan Hart (left) have opened up about their father, Lance Hart, 57, who shot dead his wife Claire, 50, and their daughter Charlotte, 19, before killing himself in Lincolnshire, last year
Lance Hart (left), 57, penned a 12-page suicide note before he blasted his wife Claire (right in right photo), 50, and their 19-year-old daughter Charlotte (left in right photo) before turning the shotgun on himself in Spalding, Lincolnshire, on July 19, 2016
‘I don’t think anything could ever, no matter how bad it was, lead you to expect what happened,’ Luke told the BBC.
The 28-year-old added: ‘The second we stepped out of line, he was willing to kill all of us and I don’t think anyone appreciated that.’
Luke said that Hart ‘didn’t need’ to physically abuse them, because he ‘generated enough fear in ways that were subtler’.
He added: ‘People fail to appreciate that many victims of abuse are just incredibly resilient people dealing with the traumas of their lives the best way they can.
‘A lot of education needs to be done in terms of abusive behaviour and also the way people will respond to abusive behaviour. I didn’t understand them myself, none of us did.’
Luke and Ryan, 27, both engineers, helped their mother and sister find a rented house in the weeks before they were killed.
Mrs Hart had packed her bags and walked out on July 14 because she’d ‘had enough’ of her ‘selfish’ husband, who spent the next five days plotting murder.
The killings happened just days after Mrs Hart told her husband their 26-year marriage was over and she was leaving him
A leisure centre manager found Claire and her estranged husband dead following the shooting but Charlotte was still alive and she used her final words to say: ‘It was my dad who shot me’
The killer had claimed his three children were ‘conspiring’ against him and would murder his estranged wife and only daughter to spite them and his surviving sons Ryan and Luke.
In a message to his family he wrote: ‘You completely destroyed my life without giving me a chance so I will destroy yours.’
He added: ‘Karma is coming, Karma is a b***h, now you all lose’.
Hart knew his wife was going swimming with Charlotte and lay in wait for them in the leisure centre’s car park in Spalding, Lincolnshire before gunning them down with a single barrel shotgun.
A leisure centre manager found Claire and her estranged husband dead but Charlotte was still alive and she used her final words to say: ‘It was my dad who shot me’.
Charlotte suffered fatal shotgun wounds to her chest and abdomen and was identified by one of her two brothers.
The body of shop assistant Claire was identified by comparison with a photograph.
The killings happened just days after Mrs Hart told her husband their 26-year marriage was over and she was leaving him.
Claire Hart had complained to a number of people that Hart had hidden money from her and on occasions locked car keys so she would be stuck in the house.