Inquest into death of St Neots man Richard Davies hears recording of “distressing” 999 call made to police
- Credit: Archant
An inquest into the fatal shooting of St Neots man Richard Davies has been played a recording of a 999 call made on the night he died during which the sound of several gunshots can be heard.
Mr Davies’s wife, Samantha, can also be heard pleading with her husband to release two of their three children who were still in the house.
The call was initially made by Child C, who had managed to escape from the house by jumping from an upstairs window.
All three children were threatened with an eight-inch kitchen knife, tied up and had duct tape placed over their mouths. Child C ran to a neighbour’s house and the neighbour made the 999 call at 7.43pm.
Assistant coroner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Nicholas Moss, warned the nine-member jury they were likely to find the recording “distressing”.
Mr Davies’s family sat with their heads bowed and became visibly upset as the audio played out in the hushed chamber.
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The recording starts at the point that Samantha Davies, who had been visiting her sister that evening, returns to the house and stands outside. She calls out to Mr Davies to let her in.
Call handler: “Come away from the door.”
SD: “He’s normally well. My eldest two children are in the house.”
SD is then heard shouting ‘Richard, Richard, Richard’ and then becomes very upset and says “I can hear someone screaming in my house, it’s [Child B].
The call handler reassures her and says police will be there as quickly as they can.
SD: “He’s not been very well, he’s been off work. He’s been depressed. I don’t know what to do. I need to be in there.”
Call handler: “We need to keep him calm.
SD: “I can hear [Child B] crying.” SD is then heard calling out to Mr Davies and says ‘we love you’, ‘we will help you’ and ‘do you want to talk, it hasn’t gone too far’.
Mr Davies is then heard to say “it has”.
SD then tells him ‘everybody understands you are not very well’.
SD then realises the other two children have escaped and she says: “Oh my goodness, the kids are out” and can be heard telling them to get into a car.
Call handler: “Are all the children out?”
SD: “All my children are out and he’s in there on his own.”
The call handler then asks her if Mr Davies has any weapons or guns in the house and SD tells him she doesn’t think so and that she can hear sirens. She then says: “Oh my goodness what was that, there was a really loud bang.”
During the next few minutes there are several more bangs and Mr Davies can be heard shouting.
SD then says: “Oh my goodness, the police are breaking into my house.” At which point Mr Davies has been shot by the police firearms officer.
Earlier in the hearing, the jury heard a written statement from Child A who said Mr Davies came upstairs brandishing the kitchen knife and Child A said to him: “You’re not going to kill us, surely?”
Mr Davies replied: “Do I look like I am joking. I’ve done something I can’t go back on.”
Mr Davies then tied Child A up, but Child A managed to get free and sent a text message to Samantha Davies.
Child A also rang 999 and told the call handler: “My dad is waving a knife around and he’s tied us all up in the house. He’s been drinking and he’s threatening to kill himself. If it all goes quiet it’s because he’s coming up the stairs and I’ve put the phone down.”
In written evidence, Child C told police Mr Davies explained that he wanted to tie the children up as part of a game, which he likened to something the SAS would do to test someone’s skills.
He used silk ties and a belt to bind Child A before going upstairs where Child C was already tied and bound. He told the Child A: “I’ve got to kill myself, it’s the only way.”
The hearing continues.