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Retired City of London police firearms officer, 69, is jailed for life for shooting dead his daughter’s fiancé, 43, with a 12-bore shotgun in a fit of rage after being told his home was to be sold
- David Hucker, 69, shot dead Robert Williamson, 43, in a fit of rage
- The pair had argued at his home in Maidstone, Kent on May 11 this year
- Mr Williamson had revealed plans to sell Hucker’s home which was the ‘last straw’ for the 69-year-old
- Hucker was today jailed for life at Maidstone Crown Court for the murder
A retired City of London police firearms officer was today jailed for life for shooting dead his daughter’s fiancé with a 12-bore shotgun in a fit of rage after being told his ‘forever’ home was to be sold.
David Hucker, 69, was told he will have to serve at least 26 years before he is eligible for parole.
The moment Hucker twice fired his shotgun at Robert Williamson on May 11 this year was recorded in a 999 call, Maidstone Crown Court heard.
Mr Williamson, who was a dad-of-two, was on the 999 call when Hucker first fired his legally-held 12-bore Beretta DT10 at close range into his chest, penetrating a lung and fracturing ribs.
The 43-year-old, who was severely injured and defenceless, was then shot for a second time by Hucker in his head and neck.
A jury was told the murder amounted to ‘an execution’ with a delay of 16 seconds between the two shots.
Screams and shouts of ‘He just shot me in the f***ing chest’ were heard by the operator who was trying to connect him to police.
Hucker, who was also a clay pigeon shooting enthusiast who taught at a local club, could be heard saying ‘I f***ing warned ya’ to Mr Williamson before the second shot rang out.
The pensioner did not realise the shooting was being recorded in the emergency call, the court heard.
David Hucker (pictured) was today jailed for life for shooting his daughter’s fiancé Robert Williamson dead and told he will have to serve at least 26 years before he is eligible for parole
Prosecuting, Nicholas Corsellis QC said that Hucker had followed Mr Williamson upstairs, loading his gun as he went with high-performance cartridges, and taking off the safety catch to ‘make sure it was ready to fire.’
He then shot Mr Williamson, who was unarmed and ‘cowering’, in a bedroom at Hucker’s terraced home in Dartford, Kent.
Mr Corsellis said at the start of Hucker’s trial, in reference to the moments after the second shot was fired: ‘Standing over Mr Williamson was the defendant and on the phone he can be heard to say after that second shot ‘I f***ing warned ya’, and then finishing off with ‘F*** ya’.
‘The Crown suggest that these words used speak for themselves. They reflect the fact that the defendant was enraged and intentionally killed his daughter’s partner, a man he viewed as his son-in-law.’
Maidstone Crown Court heard that Hucker had become angry after divorcee Mr Williamson, engaged to his daughter Samantha Hucker, revealed they planned to sell his house and told him to ‘f*** off out the house.’
His daughter had bought her father’s home in Dartford Road, where properties had an overall average price of £308,250 over the last year.
Miss Hucker had bought his home so he could carrying on living there after he divorced in 2018.
But the court heard financial difficulties caused by the pandemic, as well as Mr Williamson losing his construction and demolition job had led to the couple having to sell their home in nearby Northfleet, Kent.
The couple had planned to live temporarily with Hucker and on the day of the murder Mr Williamson had been moving their possessions into the home.
Maidstone Crown Court heard that Hucker had become angry after divorcee Robert Williamson, engaged to his daughter Samantha Hucker, revealed they planned to sell his house and told him to ‘f*** off out the house.’ Pictured: Hucker (left) and Mr Williamson (right)
But the two men, both described as ‘Alpha males’ and said by Hucker himself to have a ‘strained’ relationship, argued for the second time that day, leading Mr Williamson to reveal plans to sell the pensioner’s house too.
Mr Corsellis said faced with losing his ‘forever’ home, and his shotgun licence as a result of Mr Williamson’s call to police, was ‘the final straw’ for Hucker and resulted in him ‘quite deliberately’ shooting him twice.
Describing the incident as ‘dynamic’, he told the jury: ‘It is the Crown’s case that the defendant absolutely intended to kill Mr Williamson.
‘He was so incensed by the fact that Mr Williamson had told him to leave his own home, that he armed himself with, and then loaded, his shotgun.
‘He pursued him up the stairs, and then took the safety catch off the gun. Then, when Mr Williamson was on the phone to the police and was faced with not being he able to continue his passion for shooting, he deliberately shot him twice.
The court also heard that once in police custody, Hucker told an officer: ‘I used to be a firearms instructor for 40 years and worked for the City of London Police and what did I do, shoot the f***ing son-in-law.’
Hucker denied murder and claimed he had no intention to hurt or kill Mr Williamson, and that he wanted to only frighten him by firing the gun into the ceiling.
But he was found guilty by a unanimous verdict after jury deliberations lasting about nine hours.
Hucker denied murder and claimed he had no intention to hurt or kill Mr Williamson, and that he wanted to only frighten him by firing the gun into the ceiling. Pictured: The murder scene
Sentencing, Judge Philip St.John-Stevens said Hucker had not shown ‘any contrition whatsoever’.
‘You, with your 40-plus years of experience with a firearm, with your 40 years experience of teaching others and teaching safety, knew the effect that that firearm would have on another human being if it was discharged,’ he told Hucker.
‘You walked up those stairs, Mr Williamson saw you with that gun and he must have been petrified. It was that that caused him to go into your bedroom, pick up the telephone and dial 999.
‘It was then him saying you would never shoot again, questioning again something that was so important to you, that caused you to discharge that firearm not once, but twice.
‘This was a cowardly and callous act of murder. It was your act, perhaps fuelled by your own arrogance, your disbelief that most of which you stood for could be called into question by Robert Williamson, effectively your son-in-law.
‘It was not as a result of what he said that you killed him, it was because you couldn’t accept that someone of just 43 could begin to question you.
‘You couldn’t accept his arrogance, you couldn’t accept that he just wouldn’t shut up. Perhaps your pride and arrogance went hand in hand, as your daughter said you were both Alpha males.
‘I have no doubt that you intended to kill him.’
In a victim impact statement read to the court Miss Hucker described her life being ‘destroyed by the madness’ of her father shooting the man who was the ‘centre of her world’. Pictured: Forensics at the murder scene
In a victim impact statement read to the court Miss Hucker described her life being ‘destroyed by the madness’ of her father shooting the man who was the ‘centre of her world’.
‘On the 11th of May my life stopped abruptly after being told of Robert getting killed…This has destroyed my life. Two figures in my life have been taken from me in the most despicable way,’ she wrote.
‘Robert was my love, my friend, my fiance, my comedian, my carer and the centre of my world. My life has been destroyed by this madness….I will never get over this.
‘To my father who brought me up, the figurehead of my family, the person I looked up to for so many years – you took my Robert from me. My only question is why have you done it to me, your princess.’
Referring to the two-week trial at which Miss Hucker gave evidence for the prosecution as being ‘hard’, she added: ‘I will always love you, your little girl.’
An expert later concluded that the first shot was discharged with the muzzle between 1.5metres and 3metres from Mr Williamson, and the second approximately one metre from him.
When interviewed by police Hucker said that being told to ‘f*** off out the house’ was ‘the red touch paper’ and so he ‘flew up’ the stairs, having armed himself to frighten and ‘shut up’ Mr Williamson, who had also goaded him about his divorce. Pictured: Maidstone Crown Court (file image)
When interviewed by police Hucker said that being told to ‘f*** off out the house’ was ‘the red touch paper’ and so he ‘flew up’ the stairs, having armed himself to frighten and ‘shut up’ Mr Williamson, who had also goaded him about his divorce.
But he admitted being someone who ‘will test to the extreme’ and that it had ‘maybe got out of hand’.
Hucker also claimed he had only loaded the weapon to ‘put a shot in the ceiling’ and that although the first discharge was accidental, it was ‘instinct’ that had caused him to fire the gun ‘twice, as you’re taught’.
But the jury also heard that Hucker had made previous comments about killing Mr Williamson, including in the hours leading up to the murder.
In an agitated state, he was said to have told his daughter in a phone call ‘I will kill him before he moves in here’, while a neighbour overheard him saying ‘I’m going to shoot the f***ing c**t’.
Mr Williamson himself told Hucker’s ex-wife Veronica that the pensioner had threatened to shoot him during their first row that morning.
The court heard that Hucker’s next-door neighbour Barry Palmer also told police that in the months prior to the fatal shooting, Hucker had told him ‘many times’ that ‘a shotgun would sort Mr Williamson out if he got too mouthy’.
A statement from Mr Williamson’s ex-wife said Hucker’s ‘selfish and callous act had had a truly devastating impact’ on his two children.
Oliver Saxby QC, defending, told the court of ‘the heat in that house that morning, principally generated, aggravated and stirred up’ by Mr Williamson.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber, Kent Police’s senior investigating officer for the case, said: ‘Mr Williamson was needlessly robbed of his life in an act of extreme, pre-meditated and senseless violence.
‘While I am pleased we have now secured a conviction, I am saddened that Mr Williamson’s loved ones have had to relive these events in court. His death has had a profound impact on those that knew him, and our specialist officers have worked hard to provide them with the best possible support.
‘I would also like to commend the actions of the call handler, who was presented with an exceptionally distressing call. Despite the challenges they had to contend with, they completed their duties with exceptional professionalism.
‘Likewise, our attending officers were presented with a harrowing scene, but their diligence meant they were able to safely bring Hucker into custody and secure the scene.’
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