Grieving son demands action against officers over shooting

Survivor of the Horden shootings, Bobby Turnbull

Survivor of the Horden shootings, Bobby Turnbull

THE son of a Horden gun massacre victim has demanded police officers face disciplinary action.

Bobby Turnbull spoke out after a leaked report suggested warnings had been placed on Michael Atherton’s file about issuing his gun licence, but it was granted because it was thought he would win an appeal against a decision.

Atherton went on to gun down partner Susan McGoldrick, 47, her sister and Bobby’s mum Alison Turnbull, 44, and Alison’s daughter Tanya Turnbull, 24.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report recommended no disciplinary action or misconduct procedures for Durham Police.

But Bobby, from West Street, Blackhall, who faces his 24th birthday next week without his mum and sister, said: “The bits of the report I have read just show mistake after mistake and missed opportunity after missed opportunity by the police.

“It plays on my mind that it’s all the police’s fault. It could have easily been avoided.

“I would like to see some discipline, whether it’s for one officer of the whole department.

“I know it won’t change anything, but it would make me feel a small amount better knowing someone’s been held to account.”

Atherton had been allowed to keep his guns despite domestic violence complaints and threatening to shoot himself in 2008.

But an astonishing report into the Greenside Avenue shootings is understood to have branded Durham Police’s failure to remove Atherton’s guns as “inexcusable” and “unacceptable”.

Durham’ Deputy Chief Constable Michael Banks said it would be inappropriate to comment further until after the inquest into the deaths. The IPCC would not comment.

Bobby has written to Policing and Criminal Justice Minister Damien Green, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper and Green Party leader Natalie Bennett asking for a meeting to discuss his campaign on greater gun controls.

His petition is at

Twitter: @sunderlandecho




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