Jilted man killed ex-girlfriend's Jehovah's Witness father

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The Independent Online

A jilted boyfriend who admitted murdering his ex-girlfriend's father before shooting her and her mother has been jailed for at least 25 years.

Jonathan Cock believed his partner Danielle Hustler ended their relationship after pressure from her parents, Adam and Amanda, due to the family's devout Jehovah's Witness beliefs.

The 24-year-old, from Penzance, Cornwall, shot the couple on the doorstep of their home on 20 September last year as they were celebrating their youngest daughter's birthday.

Truro Crown Court heard that Mrs Hustler, 40, survived after being shot twice in the back. He also fired shots into the house, hitting Miss Hustler, 20, in the arm. Cock was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 25 years for the murder of Mr Hustler, 41.

"The carnage you caused that night was chilling, terrible and tragic," said Mr Justice Royce. "Its effects on the Hustler family could not have been more devastating." He said that it was clear that Cock, who served four years in the RAF, believed Mr and Mrs Hustler were "highly influential" in the ending of the relationship. In a statement read to the court, Mrs Hustler said her married life had been "brutally destroyed".

Miss Hustler said she felt guilt for what had happened: "Emotionally I feel massive guilt that I allowed this man into my life and my family's life."

Cock met Miss Hustler when he got a job at the family drainage company where she also worked. The court was told that, after the 18-month relationship ended, he demanded to meet her in a supermarket car park to try to reconcile their differences.

Sarah Munro QC, prosecuting, said he took with him a loaded .22 calibre rifle with 15 rounds of ammunition which he had stolen from his father. He also took a suicide note and two cards, one for if they decided to keep the relationship going and one for if they did not.

Ms Munro said he sent a text message to Miss Hustler saying she could take the easy option of coming to talk to him or the hard option. When she refused to see him, Cock drove to the her house in Porth Kea, Cornwall, where the shooting took place.