Plymouth shooter fascinated by serial killers and ‘incel’ culture, inquest hears | Crime

A man who killed five people including his mother and a three-year-old girl was fascinated by mass shootings, serial killers and violent heroes of “incel” ideology, an inquest jury has heard.

The jury also heard that Plymouth gunman Jake Davison expressed strongly misogynist views and despair about his own life in the months before he killed five people.

On the afternoon of the shootings, which ended when Davison turned his pump-action shotgun on himself, he viewed an online thread asking why “incels” felt the need to end their own lives and looked up posts on kidnapping and detransitioning, the court heard.

During the second day of the inquests on Davison’s five victims, the jury in Exeter was shown a police video recreation of the shooting including footage of him walking around the streets of his neighbourhood in August 2021 holding his pump-action shotgun.

When police searched the home that Davison, 22, shared with his mother, Maxine Davison, 51, they found almost 400 of the type of “Buffalo” cartridges – normally bought to hunt large animals – that he used during the eight-minute attack.

The court was told that in the months before the attack, Davison, an apprentice crane operator, made a series of “disturbing” online posts and undertook worrying online searches.

In April 2021 he posted a video about an assault he had carried out because someone had called him fat, which hurt his “ego”. He stated: “This is why incels were more prone to killing themselves – or going on a killing spree.” At about this time he also referred to the California man Elliot Rodger, a mass killer “idolised” by the incel (involuntary celibate) community.

In July 2021, the month before he struck, he filmed himself talking about his “lack of success at dating apps, disillusionment of life and self hatred”. He referred to himself as the “black sheep” of the family and described his mother as very difficult to live with.

He expressed views that he had missed out on relationships, describing himself as “a virgin … fat, ugly” and at another point said: “I like to think sometimes I’m the Terminator or something.” Also in July he looked up the 1987 Hungerford mass shootings in Berkshire in which 16 people were killed.

Three days before the killings, he was searching for information about the US serial killer Ted Bundy and incel murderers, watched videos of firearms and how to use them and posted a clip from an online game called Kill Zone.

Dominic Adamson KC, representing three of the families who lost loved ones, said the searches were “remarkable” and “deeply disturbing”. He said they suggested a man with extreme views who was “not living in the real world”.

He added Davison’s internet history: “Refers to violence, misogynistic views, and indicated an extremely hostile relationship between him and his mother. He had explored on numerous occasions mass killings and referred to people idolised in the incel community for perpetrating mass killings.”

Supt Rachel Bentley, senior investigating officer in the case, said there was nothing to indicate from his searches what was about to happen. “There is no evidence of manifesto planning, the data revealed no relevance to draw that these sites were the inspiration for events,” she said.

The recreation shown in court revealed that most of Davison’s shots were at very close range. The jury also saw footage of him walking along the street with the shotgun before he took his own life.

Davison shot Lee Martyn, 43, and his three-year-old daughter, Sophie, as she pushed a buggy with a teddy inside while they walked the family dog. He shot another dog walker, Stephen Washington, 59, in a park and artist Kate Shepherd, 66, who had just been shopping. He had shot his own mother after an argument.

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