Crossbow killer murdered pregnant woman’s boyfriend and shot her in head

A mum has told how a crossbow maniac killed her boyfriend and shot her in the head when she was five months pregnant.

Deranged neighbour Anthony Lawrence broke in through the shared loft of his and Laura Sugden’s semi-detached houses and lay in wait for her and partner Shane Gilmer.

He then launched a murderous attack, killing Shane and shooting Laura in the head before leaving them for dead.

Amazingly, she and her unborn­ child survived the attack in the village of Southburn, East Riding of Yorkshire.

In her first full interview, Laura told how the birth of now two-year-old daughter Ella "healed my heart" after Shane died in front of her.

Laura, 30, said: "I don’t think I’ll ever get over what happened, but I have to be strong for Ella.

"I didn’t know how I was going to manage on my own but the minute Ella was born and I saw her, something in my heart healed.

"I’ve told her, 'Daddy is a star' and she’ll sometimes talk about him, asking, 'My Daddy loved me, didn’t he?'

"Every milestone reminds me that Shane isn’t here; her first step, her first birthday, and that will go on forever."

Laura is now campaigning for tighter ­regulations around crossbows, which can be bought online for about £150.

Recalling the terrifying attack in January 2018, Laura told how she found her "odd, hermit" neighbour hiding in a bedroom.

She asked what he was doing before shouting to Shane: "Don’t come up, he’s got a gun."

Laura said: "I was terrified. It was surreal. I kept thinking, 'This isn’t happening'."

Seconds later, Lawrence dragged Shane into the ­bedroom; he had been shot through the arm, with the bolt damaging his liver and kidney before embedding itself in his spine.

Laura asked Lawrence: "Is that going to kill him?" The smirking 55-year-old replied: "Yes, and now I’m going to kill you."

As she begged for her life, Lawrence told Laura the attack was in revenge for getting him evicted, then shot her.

Laura said: "Blood was ­gushing down my face and I felt dizzy. I heard Shane scream and I looked over at him. He was pale and crying."

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