Watch: 'Deceit and lies' of Suffolk man who shot wife got him a gun licence

Ipswich crown court with road sign

Suffolk police have given an interview about Barham gun dealer Peter Hartshorne-Jones who shot dead his wife. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk police have said the "deceit and lies" of a man who shot his wife allowed him to obtain a gun licence. 

Detective Chief Inspector Karl Nightingale from Suffolk police's major investigation team has spoken about 52-year-old Peter Hartshorne-Jones being given a life sentence for the manslaughter of his wife Silke

Police seized eight shotguns, two rifles, two air rifles and nine stocks and barrels from mentally ill Hartshorne-Jones after the killing in May 2020, all of which were held in accordance with licensing requirements. 

The court heard during the trial Hartshorne-Jones had answered "no" to a question on firearms certificate applications in 2000 and 2015 about whether he had ever received treatment for a mental health condition.

DCI Nightingale said the police have been "fully compliant" with national gun licensing guidelines. 

He added that Hartshorne-Jones used "deceit and lies" to get a licence, which the judge factored in while considering sentencing. 

"He could not claim any credit for good behaviour on that," DCI Nightingale added. 

Mrs Hartshorne-Jones, 42, died in May 2020 after being shot twice in the chest at the couple’s 17th-century farmhouse in Barham. 

The sentencing of Hartshorne-Jones, who admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility, was cancelled a number of times due to the pandemic and Judge Martyn Levett needing more time for his remarks.  

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"It's a very long process and one that has really tested and challenged the family because they cannot move on from this until the completion of the sentence," DCI Nightingale said. 

But he added, "in a strange way" the delays from Covid and the judge needing additional information in the case have revealed Hartshorne-Jones' "narcissistic" personality traits. 

DCI Nightingale also reflected on Judge Levett drawing attention to the increasing prevalence of violence against women in domestic settings.

"Violence against women and young girls is a very widescale systematic societal problem. It's very complex," DCI Nightingale added. "We need to make sure we provide the very best service and lock up those responsible for it."

He also said: "The dignity in which the family has conducted themselves has been magnificent."

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