Spalding Shooting: Wife Had Told Husband 'Marriage Was Over'

Charlotte Hart, along with her mother, Claire Hart, were killed in the car park of their local swimming pool on July 19. Facebook

A British father who shot his wife and daughter dead outside a leisure center before turning the gun on himself, had recently learned that his marriage was over, it was reported.

Lance Hart killed his wife Claire, 50, and 19-year-old Charlotte in Spalding, Lincolnshire, a small town in the north of England, Tuesday. Hart, 57, who worked as a delivery driver for a builders' merchants, then used the weapon to kill himself, police said.

A witness claimed that Claire Hart had recently told her husband of 26 years that their marriage was over and she planned to leave him, The Daily Telegraph reported. Another witness described seeing a man hiding under a car just minutes before the horror unfolded.


A relative of Hart confirmed his wife had recently ended their marriage, adding: “Lance would have been upset but that cannot explain or justify what he has done.”

Neighbors said they were “shocked and devastated” by the news, as they had always considered the couple to be “lovely, happy and in love.”

It is understood that Hart did not own a shotgun or hold a licence for one, and a police investigation will now look at how he got access to it. Investigators raided the family's £280,000 five-bedroom detached home, in the nearby village of Moulton, on Tuesday, which had recently gone on the market. Neighbors said the couple were looking to downsize to a small bungalow in the village.

As well as their daughter, a student at the University of Northampton, the Harts lived with their two sons—Luke, 26, and Ryan, 25.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Superintendent Paul Timmins of Lincolnshire Police said: “We believe a shotgun was involved in the incident and we are working alongside colleagues from the East Midlands Major Crime Team in order to provide answers around what has happened today.

“Clearly, a situation such as this is hard to comprehend for a small community like Spalding.

“However, we believe all those involved were known to each other and we are not seeking anyone else in connection with this tragedy.”