Grieving man gets angels tattoos to remember mum, sister and aunt killed in gunshot massacre

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GRIEVING Bobby Turnbull has three angels tattooed on his back to remember the loved ones he lost in a gunshot massacre.

Bobby lost his mum, sister and aunt when taxi driver Michael Atherton went on a rampage on New Year’s Day in Horden.

The intricate angels represent the 23-year-old’s mum, Alison, 44, his sister Tanya, 24, and his aunt Susan McGoldrick, 47.

The words “Too Well Loved To Ever Be Forgotten” sit at the bottom of Bobby’s back, which were taken from the women’s headstone.

A lily and a yellow rose – his mum and aunty’s favourite flowers – have also been inked next to a butterfly for Tanya on the tattoo.

Bobby, of Blackhall, said: “They were my three angels and now I have them on my back.

“Every day I can look in the mirror and I see the tattoo and it will remind me of them.”

Bobby’s tattoo, which he designed himself, has taken artists at tattoo studios Lucky 777, in Seaham, and Gecko Images, in Easington, eight months to complete.

He said: “Nothing is going to bring the girls back but I wanted to do something in their memory.”

Atherton launched his killing spree after Susan – his partner for 18 years – went out on New Year’s Eve without him in Peterlee.

Susan’s daughter, Laura, 19, suffered minor injuries and escaped through a window before Atherton turned the gun on himself.

Other people in the house at the time survived, including Atherton’s son Michael, 17.

Bobby Turnbull’s family launched a petition to change gun licensing laws, which has been backed by Easington MP Grahame Morris.

The campaign calls for better co-operation between police and health professionals and asks for individuals with a criminal past, history of mental instability or domestic violence to be identified.

Durham Constabulary confirmed that between 2002 and 2004 officers were called to four domestic-related incidents at the family home, none of which resulted in either party being charged with any offence.

It was also alleged that he threatened to shoot himself in 2008, but his guns were only temporarily confiscated by police.

To add your name to the gun licensing petition, go to http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/33913

Twitter: @SunEchoChief




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