Devizes shooting investigation will focus on mental health of retired policeman (From This Is Wiltshire)
Devizes shooting investigation will focus on mental health of retired policeman
8:14am Thursday 7th March 2013 in Latest News
The mental health of retired Wiltshire police inspector Bill Dowling who, along with his partner Vicky Rose, was found shot dead, will be examined by police as they investigate their deaths.
The bodies of Mr Dowling, 59, and Vicky Rose, 58, were found in the porch of Mr Dowling’s house in Moonrakers, Devizes, by neighbours after gunshots were heard on Saturday morning.
Police recovered a shotgun from the scene and forensic testing is being carried out on it.
On Monday Mr Dowling’s shocked family released a statement which said in the last three weeks Mr Dowling’s “emotional and mental wellbeing have been in sharp decline.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police confirmed that Mr Dowling’s mental wellbeing would form part of their investigation.
Mrs Rose’s friend Sarah Edwards said: “Vicky said Bill had been very depressed and it was beginning to get her down. She said she didn’t think they had anything in common any more.”
The police have not said what they think happened to lead to the deaths of Mr Dowling and Vicky Rose but said they were not looking for anyone else.
Police confirmed Mr Dowling held a shotgun certificate and his licence had been renewed by Wiltshire Police’s firearms licensing department in 2011.
A police spokesman said: “There was no reason to suggest that the certificate should not be renewed. A certificate is valid for five years and is reviewed at the point of renewal.
“Anyone applying for a certificate or for its renewal would be subject to the robust systems in place to assess the suitability of those applying for licences which includes verification through our intelligence databases, we would contact the GP if the applicant has declared any medical condition that would give us cause for concern.
“Personal visits by licensing officers would take place for the grant of a shotgun certificate or on renewal if there was cause for concern.
“Our processes ensure that if there is any incident involving a certificate holder it is flagged electronically to the firearms licensing department to enable them to consider the certificate holder’s suitability to possess weapons.”
The deaths of Mr Dowling and Vicky Rose have shocked their families, friends and neighbours.
Mr Dowling had recently returned from a trip to Australia. Former police colleague Pete Bowerbank met him shortly after his return.
Mr Bowerbank said: “He was very upbeat and clearly had had a really good holiday.”
Mr Dowling lived alone at his home in Moonrakers, where he had lived for more than 20 years.
Vicky Rose, who he had been in a relationship for some years, lived in nearby White Horse Way.
The couple both had two grown-up sons and Mr Dowling had grandchildren.
Mr Dowling was divorced from his wife, Pauline, with whom he had two sons, James, who lives in Devizes and works at police headquarters, and Paul, who, it is thought, lives in Dorset. He also had two grandchildren.