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Plymouth shooting: Gunman received mental health support in lockdown

Jake Davison, who shot five people before turning his gun on himself, was in contact with a mental health helpline during the eighteen months prior to his attack

Joanna Taylor
Tuesday 17 August 2021 21:36 BST
(Jake Davison)

Plymouth gunman Jake Davison received mental health support before he committed one of the UK’s deadliest mass shootings, it has emerged.

The 22-year-old killed his mother and four other victims in Keyham on Thursday, before turning his gun on himself.

Davison had been in contact with a telephone helpline in Plymouth run by the independent Livewell Southwest organisation during the past eighteen months, the group said.

That the gunman accessed this service during lockdown raises further questions as to why he was allowed to possess a shotgun.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that Davison’s parents struggled to find adequate help for their son after becoming concerned for his mental health.

An NHS spokeswoman told PA that “when mental health services were approached for help, it was given.”

She added: “The First Response Service continued throughout lockdown and was strengthened to help people who were struggling.”

Davison, whose social media usage suggests was obsessed with misogynistic ‘incel’ culture, had his gun licence returned to him by Devon and Cornwall Police just weeks before the attack after it was confiscated following an alleged assault.

Campaigners and politicians, as well as the friends of families of victims, have called for answers as to why he was allowed to possess the weapon and why he was not given a full mental health assessment.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation into the incident.

The government has, meanwhile, asked all English and Welsh forces to review their firearm application processes.

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