Police chief’s support for gun petition

THE son of a Horden gun massacre victim has been given a boost after a new police chief pledged his support to his campaign for tighter gun controls.

Durham Police’s new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Ron Hogg is backing Bobby Turnbull, who along with relatives launched a petition calling for stricter firearms controls after his mum, sister and aunt were gunned down by Michael Atherton, 44, on New Year’s Day.

Mr Hogg, who was a senior officer with the Cleveland and Durham police forces, says applicants for firearms licences should be forced to submit full medical histories – which echoes the goals of the campaign set up by Bobby, 24, and his family.

Mr Hogg, who successfully won last month’s PCC election after standing as a Labour candidate, said he will be speaking to other PCCs across the country on the issue.

Bobby, who lives in East Street, Blackhall, and works at Hartlepool Golf Club, said: “Mr Hogg said before he came into power last month that he would help and support the petition.

“We have met him since and he has been 100 per cent behind us and he understands everything we want and what we need doing because he has worked as a firearms officer.

“He agrees with what we want and says there should be some national changes made.

“He said if there’s anything we need he will try and help.

“To have someone with these powers policing-wise on your side will hopefully make all the difference.”

Atherton shot Bobby’s mum, Alison Turnbull, 44, her daughter Tanya Turnbull, 24, and Atherton’s partner, Tanya’s sister, Susan McGoldrick, 47 following a row.

The Mail reported last month that Bobby was calling for Durham Police to be brought to book after a leaked Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report revealed failings in the issuing of a firearms licence to Atherton., as reported by the HartlepooBobby said police should now face disciplinary action after findings suggested warnings had been placed on Michael Atherton’s file about issuing his gun licence.

But the licence was granted because it was thought he would win an appeal against a decision.

Bobby’s petition can be found at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/41060