Gunman Jake Davison reigned down a volley of punches on an innocent 16-year-old boy after he was called a “fat c***” by another teenager, a court heard.
The boy who insulted Davison ran off and the 22-year-old responded with a burst of violence so extreme his blameless victim suffered injuries to his eyebrow, nose and lip.
CCTV of the incident in a Plymouth park showed Davison punching the boy at least five times but he could have unleashed between seven and nine blows during the assault, an inquest was told.
When a 15-year-old girl went to her friend’s aid – as he lay on the floor not resisting the volley of blows – she was slapped by Davison.
Davison was not charged with the September 2020 assaults and instead a detective sergeant referred him to a restorative justice programme as an alternative to prosecution.
His legally held pump-action shotgun and certificate were seized by Devon and Cornwall Police following the incident but later returned.
Less than 12 months later Davison shot dead five people, including his mother Maxine, in August 2021 with his legally held firearm.
The details of the incident emerged at the inquest into Davison’s five victims, as those who assessed his suitability to hold a firearms licence were giving evidence.
The teenager ran off after shouting at Davison near a skate park in Central Park, Plymouth.
The apprentice crane operator then took his anger out on two of the teenager’s friends – considering them “guilty by association”.
Bridget Dolan KC, counsel to the inquest, said: “The CCTV shows more than five punches to the young man, maybe between seven and nine.
“The CCTV appears to show him (the boy) on the floor having lost consciousness – or at least not moving or resisting – and the punches continued at that stage.
“CCTV showed the young woman approaching them and Davison putting his arm out to her.
“The boy was hit so hard there was a two-inch cut above his eyebrow, and bleeding to his nose, eyebrow and lip.”
The boy required superficial stitches to his eyebrow and the girl was left with no visible injuries.
Davison later handed himself into the police after a public appeal was made and CCTV images of a suspect were issued.
The parents of the boy wanted Davison charged but he was instead enrolled on the Pathfinder scheme.
After being alerted by staff from the project, Davison’s certificate and weapon were seized by firearms inquiry officer David Rees but later returned.
Mr Rees told the inquest: “Having seen the CCTV last week I was quite shocked by the ferocity of the assault. I wish I had queried the decision-making process of the gatekeeper (the detective sergeant).
“I should have questioned it.”
The inquest has previously heard Davison was so angry following the incident he wanted to kill the teenagers and went home to get his shotgun.
Darren Wood, the partner of Mrs Davison, said her son was “raging angry” and had begun loading the weapon until his mother calmed him down.
“He came back and ran upstairs. Maxine went upstairs and I could hear him saying, ‘I’m going down there and kill them’,” he said.
“He said he was going to go back to the park and he went to his room to get his gun out the cupboard. I could hear something being loaded.”
The inquest continues.