Nobody who sees Luke and Ryan Hart taking their beloved dogs for a walk on Monday will realise the significance of the day.

But it will be a poignant one of reflection for the brothers, five years on from their father murdering their mum and sister in Spalding swimming pool’s car park.

After inflicting years of domestic abuse and coercion, he lay in wait for his wife and daughter with a shotgun before turning it on himself.

It came just a couple of days after Luke and Ryan had managed to move Claire, 50, and Charlotte, 19, out of the family home in Moulton and into a rental property in Spalding.

Their father was so controlling of his family as they grew up that their dogs – Max, Indi and Bella – were the only things allowed to be shown love and compassion.

“Our best moments with mum and Charlotte were with the dogs,” said Luke. “Our father would be out at work and we’d take them for a walk.

“They were always low-key moments but had a lot of emotional significance for us.”

Luke and Ryan with Indi and Bella on a charity walk.

Luke and Ryan believe Max was murdered by their father a couple of weeks before the move. 

“Max died in mysterious circumstances,” said Luke. “We believe our father was testing his ability to kill when he killed Max, to see if he had it in him to then kill us.

“In the days after we’d escaped he was desperate to get all of us together for one last walk. He was basically planning to kill all of us and the dogs.

“The dogs were so important to us that he wanted to kill them as much as he wanted to kill us.”

Luke, 31, and Ryan, 30, might spend part of Monday’s anniversary taking Indi, a vivacious Jackahuahua, and Bella, a Labradoodle, to a new place for their walk.

“They’re both lovely dogs,” said Luke. “Everyone who meets them comments on their caring and friendly personalities – and that’s like mum and Charlotte woven through them both.”

Sweet memories. Ryan and mum on his 25h birthday.

The brothers, who now live in Surrey, had been travelling worldwide to share their story prior to COVID-19. Sadly, lockdown led to a spike in domestic abuse and homicides.

“Coercive control is, in essence, lockdown,” said Luke. “For a lot of people, that’s their daily experience, but I think for others the lockdown might well have been the catalyst for coercive control behaviours to become more visible.

“That’s been a kind of sub-narrative of COVID – it hasn’t had the same emphasis as some of the other impacts. The impact on those who have been locked down with abusers has probably been beyond traumatising because it’s gone on for a very long period of time now.”

The brothers have welcomed both the increase in media awareness of coercive control and more countries considering legislation.

Their story has helped others understand how domestic abuse and danger can be present without the explicit violence wrongly believed to also be necessary.

Luke said: “The thing that we hope for more than anything is that our story creates conversations.

“The more we talk about domestic abuse, the more we’re going to get better at spotting it and dealing with it.

“Mum and Charlotte were always giving and trying to help other people and I think knowing that their legacy is, hopefully, saving other people’s lives and making a real impact is something they would be proud of.”

Remembered Forever – the book the brothers wrote about their experiences – is available to buy through their website www.cocoawareness.co.uk

While many England fans are fretting about finishing work in time to watch the crunch Euro 2020 match with Germany on Tuesday, one supporter’s biggest issue is which shirt to wear.

Football shirt fanatic Pete Hammond has 23 different Three Lions tops among a huge collection of 364 from all over the world.

The wardrobes and drawers at his home near Spalding are all bulging with the assortment of shirts, worth up to £15,000. And with a new addition being added most weeks, the collection is ever increasing.

Pete, 39, said: “I honestly only started out looking to get a handful of shirts but it’s escalated somewhat!”

He got his first shirt as a ten-year-old back in 1992 – the final Manchester United one made by Adidas.

“Even at that age I started looking at different teams’ kits,” said Pete. “I remember getting a yellow Tottenham away shirt in a sale.

“And I had the 92-94 Man Utd Umbro away kit which my six-year-old son Stanley has got in his collection now.”

Pete got his first shirt as a ten-year-old back in 1992.

He added: “I’ve always been a Man United fan and always will be, but even as a kid it never used to faze me buying kits of other teams.”

One of his first purchases of a foreign shirt was Nagoya Grampus Eight following former England striker Gary Lineker’s move to the Japanese club.

And inspired by one of his favourite players, Les Sealey, Pete started adding goalie shirts to his collection.

Then came the first of the England shirts, starting with the away shirt for the failed campaign to qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals in USA.

Pete was funding his purchases through earnings from a paper round and work at the Farm Café in Fleet.

“I remember saving up for a Man United goalie shirt – the away one from 92 to 94 – week in, week out with pocket money my nan gave me. I ordered it through Match magazine, you had to clip out the mail order bit and send it off.

“Unfortunately I haven’t still got it – I’d love to get one of those again.”

Pete Hammond has 23 different Three Lions tops among his huge collection.

Umbro has always been his favourite make and with the 1990s boom of Italian football and TV coverage of it here, he targeted Inter Milan tops and then Lazio when Paul Gascoigne joined.

He said: “The Umbro designs across the 90s were so out there. Some people think they were garish but I liked that they were a British brand at the time and they were proper football shirts with proper collars, button up and great material.

“Some of my shirts are 30 years old and they’ve held up remarkably well, which is testament to their quality.”

Pete’s collecting picked up again about six years ago after he stopped playing football.

He said: “It’s been important for me to have a hobby. I thought if I can’t play football I’ll focus on getting the shirts and retain that bit of love for the game.

“It’s great to hunt down a shirt you’ve been after for a while and get it for an absolute bargain.

“And the collectors are a decent little community.”

Pete’s collecting picked up again about six years ago after he stopped playing football.

One very satisfying moment came three years ago when he finally got the 1992/93 Lazio shirt he’d wanted for more than 20 years.

He was happy to break his usual ceiling of £30 for that one. It cost £38.

Occasionally he swaps or sells some, but turned down a £500 offer for a Bayern Munich one.

Shirts from Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ukraine, Russia, Canada, Argentina and Brazil are all represented in the collection. However, Pete won’t entertain any Manchester City, Liverpool or Arsenal tops because of their rivalries with Manchester United.

All his shirts get worn – he pops on a different one every day after work as head of commercial performance for a publishing firm. And during the Euros he’s even sneaked England tops into work video calls.

Pete’s wife tolerates his collecting, but his son looks set to follow in his footsteps.

Wife Hayley “goes along” with his collecting, says Pete.

“The thing that grates on her most is the amount of space they take up,” he admitted. “And I don’t think she’s too happy about me getting Stanley into it as well!”

The hope is that their three-year-old daughter Nancy shows no more interest than occasionally trying on one of Stanley’s shirts – or even more wardrobes might be needed.

A Lincolnshire coroner has warned people about the danger of mixing drugs following the sudden death of a 33-year-old man.

David Buck died at his home in Skegness from a massive pulmonary embolism.

An inquest into his death, held in Lincoln on Wednesday, heard that a contributory factor might have been a mixture of illicit and prescription drugs.

Speaking after the hearing, assistant coroner Marianne Johnson said: “I don’t think a lot of youngsters realise that mixing certain drugs – albeit only at therapeutic level – can cause what’s called toxicity.

“They perhaps need to understand that, singularly, therapeutic level is fine but mixing it with other therapeutic-level drugs is likely to cause a toxic effect that can then cause death.”

Mrs Johnson gave an example of paracetamol and cocaine.

The inquest was told that Mr Buck lived with his parents in Clarke Way.

The night before his death on November 28, 2020, he went out to a friend’s house to collect a phone charger.

His father, also named David, waited up until he came home at 2am.

Giving evidence, Mr Buck Snr said his son was unsteady on his feet and “clearly under the influence of something”. He sat with him before going to bed at 5.30am. When he checked on his son at 9am, he found him unresponsive and called 999.

East Midlands Ambulance Service gave CPR but was unable to revive Mr Buck Jnr. His father said in the inquest that the family was grateful to the paramedics for their attention.

The inquest was told that other contributory factors to the death were chronic drug-related heart disease and morbid obesity.

Evidence was heard that Mr Buck Jnr was “troubled”. He had lost a lot of weight and was self-conscious about the loose skin but was due to be referred by a mental health team for surgery which would have helped him.

Mrs Johnson concluded that his death was as a result of natural causes.

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