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Murders of Heather Whitbread and Michelle Savage

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Heather Whitbread and Michelle Savage were a mother and daughter who were murdered in St Leonards-on-Sea by the latter's estranged husband on 16 March 2018.[1] [2]

Events leading up to shooting[edit]

Michelle Savage had left her husband Craig Savage, a former soldier who had become a lorry driver.[3][1] He threatened to post revenge porn of her if she refused to have sex with him.[3][1] She refused and he carried out his threat ten days later.[3][1]

The day before his wife's birthday, Craig Savage drove to Hastings, in order to pour paint over the family cars and slash the tires.[3] This was a week before the shootings.[3][1]

A shooting range official at the 1066 Sporting Range in St Leonards-on-Sea was threatened by Craig Savage who waited until he was the only customer at the range.[4] He then took the .22-caliber M4 semi-automatic rifle and magazine.[4]


Michelle, her sister Raven Whitbread, who was seven months pregnant, her mother Heather and grandmother Patricia Groves were present when Craig attacked.[1] Raven ran and phoned the police, saying "My sister's crazy ex has just smashed through the window and is shooting."[1] Patricia managed to hide from him.[1] He shot his wife six times and his mother-in-law seven times.[1] He also killed the family dog Zeus.[1]


Craig Savage denied the charge of murder, claiming that he had tripped and the gun had gone off accidentally after a struggle with his wife.[1] He claimed that he had planned to kidnap his wife so police would shoot him in front of her.[1]


He was found guilty of both murders and sentenced to life with a recommendation that he must must serve at least 38 years.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 "St Leonards man Craig Savage jailed for murdering wife and mother-in-law". BBC News. 29 Oct 2018. Retrieved 29 Oct 2018.
  2. "St Leonards shooting: family pay tribute to women killed at home". The Guardian. 18 Mar 2018. Retrieved 29 Oct 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "'Indescribable rage' drove St Leonards man to kill, jury told". BBC News. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 29 Oct 2018.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "St Leonards double killing: Gunman 'cold and professional'". BBC News. 16 Oct 2018. Retrieved 29 Oct 2018.

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