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Father-of-two, 30, told 999 operator ‘I love my children’ as he lay dying

A father-of-two asked emergency services to tell his children he loved them after his neighbour shot and fatally wounded him with a crossbow, an inquest today heard.

Shane Gilmer, 30, called 999 and stayed on the phone for 30 minutes as he bled out after Anthony Lawrence, 55, attacked him and his pregnant partner Laura Sugden in their home in Southburn, East Yorkshire.  

Lawrence broke into their house through the loft and waited in a bedroom for them to return home from a meal at Gino D’Acampo’s Italian restaurant on January 12, 2018, Hull Coroner’s Court heard.

Just before 9.30pm he shot Mr Gilmer through the arm and torso – where the bolt broke his arm and a rib, damaged his liver and kidney and became embedded in his spine.

Lawrence shot Ms Sugden, who was 27 at the time, in the head and then drove the crossbow bolt into her neck after she removed it, the inquest heard.

Shane Gilmer (above, with Laura), 30, died after a crossbow bolt fired by their neighbour Anthony Lawrence broke his arm and a rib, damaged his liver and kidney and became embedded in his spine, court heard

Shane Gilmer (above, with Laura), 30, died after a crossbow bolt fired by their neighbour Anthony Lawrence broke his arm and a rib, damaged his liver and kidney and became embedded in his spine, court heard

Shane Gilmer (above, with Laura), 30, died after a crossbow bolt fired by their neighbour Anthony Lawrence broke his arm and a rib, damaged his liver and kidney and became embedded in his spine, court heard

She escaped and ran, covered in blood and with a gaping wound in her neck, to a nearby house after Mr Gilmer told her to keep herself and their baby safe, the inquest was told.

Today, the inquest jury heard transcripts of 999 calls made by Ms Sugden and Mr Gilmer. 

Lawrence was allegedly angry with the couple because he was served with an eviction notice after they complained to his landlord about a smell of cannabis coming from his house.

During the call to emergency services Mr Gilmer said: ‘I need to say something. I love my children.’

He said he could not move and there was ‘blood everywhere’ and could be heard breathing heavily and crying and screaming with pain during the half-hour call, the inquest was told. 

Lawrence (above) attacked his neighbours with a crossbow

Lawrence (above) attacked his neighbours with a crossbow

Lawrence (above) attacked his neighbours with a crossbow

Later in the call, he said: ‘I need to tell my mum and dad I love them. I’ve fallen out with them last week but I really love them. I love Laura, I hope they are all OK.’ 

He repeatedly asked where the emergency services were and said they were taking ‘too long’, the inquest heard.

Towards the end of the phone call, Mr Gilmer said: ‘I feel like I’m fading, I’ve lost so much blood. She sounded so scared. I can’t believe this has happened.’

The call ended shortly after police arrived at the house and told Mr Gilmer that Ms Sugden was safe.

The couple were taken to Hull Royal Infirmary but Mr Gilmer suffered a cardiac arrest and died on arrival.

Ms Sugden survived after ‘life-saving treatment’, the inquest heard.   

Mr Gilmer, who had two daughters from a previous marriage, was expecting a baby with Ms Sugden, who was around 20 weeks pregnant.

During the call to emergency services he repeatedly told the call handler that he thought he was going to die, the inquest heard. 

The inquest heard that he also spoke about his unborn child and told the call handler that he and Ms Sugden were going for a scan soon to find out the sex.

He said: ‘I really, really wanted this baby, I really wanted it.’

The homes of Lawrence (believed to be the house to the left) and Mr Gilmer (believed to be the house to the right)

The homes of Lawrence (believed to be the house to the left) and Mr Gilmer (believed to be the house to the right)

The homes of Lawrence (believed to be the house to the left) and Mr Gilmer (believed to be the house to the right)

Ms Sugden told the inquest Mr Gilmer's final words to her were to tell her to get out of the house to safety (couple pictured above)

Ms Sugden told the inquest Mr Gilmer's final words to her were to tell her to get out of the house to safety (couple pictured above)

Ms Sugden told the inquest Mr Gilmer’s final words to her were to tell her to get out of the house to safety (couple pictured above)

Mr Gilmer told the call handler that he and Ms Sugden had been attacked by their neighbour – who he described as ‘really dangerous’ – and that he believed Lawrence had taken his girlfriend.

Yesterday, Ms Sugden told the inquest she begged Lawrence not to kill her because she was pregnant, but he told her he already knew because he had been ‘listening to their conversations for a year’. 

Mr Gilmer said: ‘He’s pissed off with us because the landlord’s evicted him because of the complaints we made.’

The inquest heard that Mr Gilmer told the call handler he had been shot with a crossbow and that the arrow had ‘ripped through’ his arm and was stuck about 10 inches into his body. 

Appearing as a witness at Hull Coroners' Court, Ms Sugden (pictured) said she was shot in the head by Lawrence and also cut her throat with the arrow after she managed to remove it

Appearing as a witness at Hull Coroners' Court, Ms Sugden (pictured) said she was shot in the head by Lawrence and also cut her throat with the arrow after she managed to remove it

Appearing as a witness at Hull Coroners’ Court, Ms Sugden (pictured) said she was shot in the head by Lawrence and also cut her throat with the arrow after she managed to remove it

When the couple arrived home from their meal out in Hull, Laura said she noticed a dark stain on the cream carpet underneath the loft hatch.

She told the court she opened her daughter’s bedroom door to find Lawrence stood with the crossbow. She said Lawrence accused the couple of ‘cooking up a plan’ with the letting agent to get him evicted.  

Ms Sugden yesterday told the court Lawrence had previously threatened to kill Shane with an axe when the father asked him to turn his music down in the autumn of 2016.   

The hearing continues. 

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