Judge urges law review as crossbow killer is locked away

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A judge today called for a review of weapons laws after a former miner bought a crossbow and two ninja swords by mail order before killing a union activist.

Robert Boyer spent months planning the brutal attack on grandfather Keith Frogson, watching violent films such as Kill Bill and Blade to learn how to use his collection of weapons.

He then viciously attacked the 62-year-old in an alley outside his home in Annesley Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, before escaping to a hideout already filled with food and supplies on a golf course in Sherwood Forest.

Boyer, 43, who was later diagnosed as suffering from a delusional mental illness, was ordered to be detained in hospital indefinitely under the Mental Health Act by a judge at Nottingham Crown Court today.

Mr Justice Bean said: "I must record my concern that it is possible for a crossbow and a ninja sword, both of which being weapons which you used in this crime, can be bought by mail order without any licence being required and without a proper record of who bought them.

"I respectfully suggest that this is a matter which the Home Secretary may wish to consider if legislation is to be introduced in this session of parliament concerning knives and offensive weapons."

Andrew Easteal, prosecuting, told the court that Boyer became fixated with Mr Frogson and convinced he was trying to dismantle his house and damage his property.

He ordered the weapons for less than £150 and started to watch violent films to learn how to use them.

He also built a foxhole on a private golf course and filled it with tinned food as somewhere to hide after his carefully planned killing.

On the night of the attack in July last year he packed his bags and waited in an alley for Mr Frogson to return from the pub to his home in Bentinck Street.

Wearing a balaclava, he stood up and confronted the popular National Union of Mineworkers activist and shot him with the crossbow before striking him repeated blows with his various weapons, shouting "Die, you bastard".

Mr Frogman was left with 30 injuries across his body, including many to his hands and arms as he desperately tried to defend himself, the court heard.

Boyer then escaped to Hollinwell Golf Course and hid there for several weeks, sparking one of the biggest manhunts in the history of Nottinghamshire Police.

He visited takeaways for food and returned twice to his home village at night. On one occasion, he set fire to Mr Frogson's home, almost killing his daughter Rachel who had returned from Sri Lanka with her partner after her father's death.