Families of Plymouth gunman victims urge government to tackle 'incels'

Families of five victims shot dead by Plymouth gunman Jake Davison plead with government to tackle ‘incel’ culture in new Online Safety Bill

  • Jake Davison murdered five people in a shooting spree in Keyham, Plymouth
  • Davison – who later shot himself – identified as part of online Incel movement
  • Incel short for ‘involuntarily celibate’, they blame women and society for woes

Grieving relatives of five people killed by Incel gunman Jake Davison nine months ago have urged the Government to tackle the online culture in new safety laws.

The heartbroken families raised concerns with Security Minister Damian Hinds about the growth of hateful online content and possible links to the shootings last August.

Davison executed his mother Maxine, 51; three-year-old Sophie Martyn; her father, Lee, 43; Stephen Washington, 59; and Kate Shepherd, 66.

The appalling bloodbath unfolded during a six-minute shooting spree in Keyham on August 12.

The Incel movement has been described as being populated by young men calling themselves ‘involuntarily celibate’.

Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport Luke Pollard was at the meeting and said: ‘We need to see within that legislation efforts to tackle the websites that host the appalling toxic Incel culture and online hate that could have been part of the build up to the tragedy that we saw in Keyham last year.

‘This could save lives in the future because at the moment the Government is proposing only the very large sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram should have the full obligations of being regulated, the problem is the toxic Incel culture that we want to tackle is often on smaller websites that wont have the same regulations as those larger ones.’

He said the hate should be tackled where ever it is hosted.


Jake Davison, 22, killed his mother in her home and then four others, including a three-year-old girl, outside the property in Keyham, Plymouth, in August 

Jake Davison at a skatepark after a complaint was made about him threatening someone there

A candlelit vigil takes place at North Down Crescent Park after the heartless shooting murders

Pollard said: ‘I don’t want to see another tragedy like the one we experienced last year every happen again.

‘That means we not only need reform of Britain’s gun laws, we also need action to drain the swamp online.’

He said the Online Safety Bill offers a ‘chance to tackle the toxic underbelly of the internet that acts as a breeding ground for hate and incel culture’.

Davison had spoken online of being ‘beaten down and defeated by life’ before his shooting spree in Keyham.

Full inquests into the deaths are due to be held next January in Plymouth.

In March detectives investigating Davison’s motives were frustrated by online forum Reddit ‘almost immediately’ deleting his account after the massacre.

Three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her father Lee, 43, were shot dead in front of horrified onlookers as they walked their pet dog


He then shot Stephen Washington (right), 59, in a nearby park, before shooting Kate Shepherd (left), 66

Devon and Cornwall Police made the extraordinary disclosure at a pre-inquest review into 22-year-old Jake Davison’s victims today.

Davison killed his own mother, Maxine, 51, three-year-old Sophie Martyn; her father, Lee, 43; Stephen Washington, 59; and Kate Shepherd, 66, in Plymouth on August 12.

But investigating police officers said Reddit – where Davison posted depraved rants – had ‘declined to assist in any dialogue’.

Instead, the £7.7billion company said the force would have to go through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty route instead.

Mr Jason Beer QC, who is representing Devon and Cornwall Police at the inquest, said reviews of Davison’s devices noted he was an ‘active member of Reddit forums’.

He added that a number of them were incel-related, some were ‘pro-incel’ and some were ‘anti-incel’. Some people who say they are unable to get a romantic or sexual partner despite desiring one call themselves incel as an abbreviation of ‘involuntary celibate’. 

Mr Beer said while police were able to secure some posts to some of these forums, it did so ‘against a backdrop’ of Reddit ‘almost immediately’ deleting Jake Davison’s entire account following the shootings and his links to Reddit were publicly known.

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