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Inquest into Horden shootings concludes tomorrow.
5:30pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
AN inquest into the death of three women shot dead by a man who then killed himself will conclude tomorrow (Friday, March 8).
Michael Atherton, 44, killed his partner Susan McGoldrick; Alison Turnbull, her daughter Tanya, and then himself, on New Year's Day last year at his home in Horden, near Peterlee, County Durham.
During the hearing held in Crook, County Durham, coroner Andrew Tweddle has heard how, despite a history of domestic abuse and threats to self-harm, Atherton legally owned six weapons, including three shotguns.
And the inquest heard that there was no formal training for police officers involved in granting firearms licences.
A note attached to Atherton’s first application for a firearms licence in 2006 said: “Four domestics, last one 24/4/04, was cautioned for assault. Still resides with partner and son and daughter. Would like to refuse, have we sufficient to refuse re public safety?”
But Atherton was stilll granted a shotgun licence and then a firearms licence two years later.
His weapons were confiscated after he threatened to “blow his head off” in September 2008.
But weeks later they were returned to him, with a final written warning.
Durham Police Chief Constable Mike Barton will give evidence tomorrow morning, before the inquest concludes.