Man charged with shooting murders of mother and daughter appears in court


A man has appeared in court accused of stealing a gun and shooting dead a mother and daughter.

Craig Savage is charged with the murders of Michelle Savage, 32, and Heather Whitbread, 53, at their home in Bexhill Road, St Leonards, East Sussex, on Friday evening.

Officers were called to the house at 7.43pm and led two other women - including one who is pregnant - to safety, police said. Savage was arrested just before 10pm.

Police at the scene of the shootings in St Leonards, East Sussex (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Police at the scene of the shootings in St Leonards, East Sussex (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The 35-year-old, of no fixed address, held his head in his hands and covered his face when he appeared via videolink at Brighton Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

He is also charged with robbery after a .22 calibre rifle and ammunition was stolen from the town's 1066 Target Sports centre on the same day as the shooting.

Dressed in a grey tracksuit, he clutched a bottle of water while sitting at a table and spoke quietly to confirm he could hear the proceedings and tell the court his date of birth and nationality.

Suzanne Soros, prosecuting, said Savage stands accused of threatening a member of sports centre staff with violence in order to steal the weapon before smashing a window at the house.

She told the court: "He gained entry through the broken window and shot both women. He left the property and was confronted by armed officers."

He got away but was later detained by police, she added.

Savage was remanded in custody and was told he is next due to appear at a crown court on Wednesday or Thursday.