Father of ‘incel’ mass killer Jake Davison tells inquest he urged police not to give son gun licence

Father of ‘incel’ mass murderer Jake Davison tells inquest he urged police not to give son shotgun licence before he killed five in gun rampage – and had refused to buy him an air rifle over fears he would ‘shoot his mother’

The father of ‘incel’ mass murderer Jake Davison told an inquest today that he tried to stop his son from getting hold of a gun before he slaughtered five innocent people – including his own mother – during a shooting rampage in Plymouth two years ago. 

The eight-minute killing spree on August 12, 2021, saw 22-year-old Davison use a pump action shotgun to first kill his mother Maxine, 51, following a row inside their home in Keyham.

He then went outside and shot dead Lee Martyn, 43, and his three year old daughter Sophie as they walked their dog and she pushed her buggy, before claiming the lives of dog walker Stephen Washington, 59, and artist Kate Shepherd, 66. He turned the gun on himself as armed police arrived to the scene. 

Speaking at an inquest into the shooting on Wednesday, his father Mark said he had refused to buy his son an air rifle when he was a teenager, before claiming he warned police to not give him a gun licence some four years before the shooting. 

Mark Davison (pictured with his son Jake) said he asked police to take away his son's shotgun and license in 2017

Mark Davison (pictured with his son Jake) said he asked police to take away his son’s shotgun and license in 2017 

Jake Davison (pictured), 22, killed his 51-year-old mother Maxine following a row before shooting dead four others in Plymouth in August 2021

Jake Davison (pictured), 22, killed his 51-year-old mother Maxine following a row before shooting dead four others in Plymouth in August 2021

It comes after it was revealed that the licence had been taken away from him after he assaulted two teenagers – but was reinstated by Devon and Cornwall Police just weeks before the mass killing.

Giving evidence at Exeter racecourse in Devon, his father, who lives in Scotland, said Jake was aged 13 or 14 when he asked him for an air rifle, but that he refused over fears he would use it against his mother. 

He claimed he then found out from his daughter that Jake had applied for a gun in 2017, which she thought would be good for him as it would give him a hobby and get him out of the house, supervised by his gun holder uncle Robert Chapman. 

Mark said he feared his son was living in an ‘insular environment always in his bedroom’, and in a volatile household where he and his mother ‘argued like cat and dog’. He also feared there were no consequences for his actions as he had ‘no empathy’.

Upon learning of the licence application in 2017, Mr Davison claimed that he immediately called police to express his concerns, telling them: ‘How for pity’s sake can you give an autistic person living in a volatile environment a gun?’  

He added: ‘I knew about his interest in guns. He should not have had a shotgun. I did not want a shotgun going into that house.’ 

He became angry as he told the inquest jury that he called the police station in Plymouth several times, despite the coroner’s barrister Bridget Dolan KC saying no one had found a log of the calls. 

He added: ‘Why would I want to make this up? Where’s the log of that? If you have lost that it’s not my fault. I did not want a shotgun in this environment, how for pity’s sake can an autistic boy have a gun?’

The inquest has heard Davison killed his mother Maxine (pictured), 51, after a row and then shot dead the four others in an eight minute attack in Plymouth

Jake Davison’s mother Maxine  was the first to be killed following a row, before he went on a killing spree

Davison first murdered his own mother, Maxine, at her home nearby, before going outside and randomly killing schoolgirl Sophie Martyn, her father Lee, 43, and dog walker Stephen Washington. He then crossed a road to a hair salon where he shot and fatally injured Kate Shepherd, 66

Davison first murdered his own mother, Maxine, at her home nearby, before going outside and randomly killing schoolgirl Sophie Martyn, her father Lee, 43, and dog walker Stephen Washington. He then crossed a road to a hair salon where he shot and fatally injured Kate Shepherd, 66

Father-of-three Mr Davison said: ‘You have messed up. I don’t give a hoot, you have messed up. It wont bring anybody back, it wont change anything.

‘We are not talking about a water pistol or someone stealing a bike – every phone call to the police is recorded.’ 

Mr Davison said a friend witnessed the calls, who the inquest jury heard was interviewed by Police Scotland earlier this month.

But the witness, Brian Cowie, told the force that Mr Davison made the calls in the summer of 2021 – not 2017, when his son made the gun application.

Mr Davison said: ‘He has got that wrong. He has to be muddled up.’

His father said he could not remember his son’s gun being taken away and then given back to him. But Mr Cowie claimed to police that Mr Davison ‘hit the roof’ when the weapon had been returned to his son.

At the inquest today, Mr Davison, a fisherman, also said ‘blaming anyone is not going to improve the system’.

Tragic: Lee Martyn and his daughter Sophie were among those shot and killed by gunman Davison

Tragic: Lee Martyn and his daughter Sophie were among those shot and killed by gunman Davison 

Kate Shepherd (pictured), 66, was Davison's final victim, and was gunned down by Blush hair salon in Plymouth

Kate Shepherd, 66, was Davison’s final victim, and was gunned down by Blush hair salon in Plymouth

Three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father Lee, 43, were shot dead in front of horrified onlookers as they walked their pet dog

Three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father Lee, 43, were shot dead in front of horrified onlookers as they walked their pet dog

He also said he did not know about his son’s involvement with the so-called Incel movement and that he thought that he was a virgin because he was just shy with girls, adding that his son’s autism meant he was ‘not very good at showing emotion’.

Incels, or involuntary celibates, advocate violence and rape against women and have been responsible for a growing number of terror attacks in recent years. 

They are part of an online community of young heterosexual men who blame society and women for their lack of romantic success.

Asked about the term Incel, Mr Davison said: ‘I did not have a clue. He stopped bothering with me, he was in his own world.’

Under cross examination by Dominic Adamson, KC, representing the victims’ families, Mr Davison said he did not know anything about incels and did not know Jake was involved and carrying out internet searches on mass killings and degrading his mother and women in general. 

Stephen Washington (pictured) was among the five victims shot to death by Davison in August 2021

Stephen Washington (pictured) was among the five victims shot to death by Davison in August 2021

He said he did not see Jake very much in the 18 months before the tragedy and thought he had a girlfriend, adding ‘why would a man in his early 20s want to go around with his dad.’

Mr Davison also told the inquest jury that his son and his mother ‘fought like cat and dog’ and claimed she would ‘run off with her mouth’ and say things she did not mean.

He said a month before the Keyham shootings Jake locked her in a cupboard at their home. He said when he went there at other times he found that there were ‘holes punched in doors’.

Mr Davison, who told the jury he has a criminal record but he is now a practicing Christian, said his son knew a lot about weapons and ammunition and encouraged him to join the Army but thought his interest was down to his autism.

He said he never thought he would go on ‘to do what he did’.

The inquest continues.

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