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Spalding double murder: Luke Hart responds to top award from Lincolnshire Police

Brothers on a worldwide crusade to raise awareness of coercive control are delighted to be given a top Lincolnshire Police award.

Luke and Ryan Hart launched into awareness raising after the devastating form of domestic abuse led to the brutal double murder of their mum, Claire, and sister, Charlotte.

The Moulton mum and daughter were shot dead in a Spalding car park by the Luke and Ryan’s father, a man they call a “terrorist”, on July 19, 2016.

Ryan and Luke Hart at the launch of the Domestic Homicide Review a year ago
Ryan and Luke Hart at the launch of the Domestic Homicide Review a year ago

Lincolnshire Police recognised the brothers for their outstanding contribution to public life.

Luke said: “For just over a year we’ve been sharing Mum and Charlotte’s story to help the public and services understand coercive control.

“It began as a healing process for both of us – it helped us find our voices.

“We’ve travelled all over the UK, throughout Europe and to the US and Australia with our work on over 100 occasions to deliver training or share our story.

“It’s an honour to be able to share Mum and Charlotte’s memory and we’ve found speaking out hugely empowering – in fact, we were never afraid of speaking up, we were only afraid of not being listened to – which was all too often the case.

“We hope that speaking up can create the space and recognition for others’ stories to be heard and validated so their experiences aren’t overlooked and do not result in tragedy. It was wonderful to receive the Outstanding Contribution to Public Service Award from Lincolnshire Police who have supported us throughout our journey.

“The police have recognised the danger of coercive control and are training their staff to recognise and understand it and we’ve been grateful for their support with our advocacy.

“Our family never had contact with the police, we all seemed to be doing so well – precisely because we were striving to create a better life than the one we had to endure under our father.

“It is crucially important that society in general understands the dynamics and danger of coercive control: the signs are much more complex than simple violence or even shouting, and much harder to escape from – coercive control is the glue that makes domestic abuse so sticky and difficult to flee from – and that is why we continue speaking up. Domestic abuse is everyone’s responsibility.”

Luck and Ryan were nominated for the Outstanding Contribution to Public Service Award by the Lincolnshire Police domestic abuse co-ordinator Sarah Norburn and former family liaison officer Dianne Squires

The brothers’ self-published book, Operation Lighthouse, was picked up by a publisher and has since been developed and the new edition is called Remembered Forever.

It's a year ago since a Domestic Homicide Review was published on the tragedy.

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