Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Inquest into gang revenge murders

Joan and John Stirland
The couple were shot dead in their bungalow

An inquest into the gangland-style execution of a Nottinghamshire couple will be heard next month.

Joan and John Stirland were shot dead in 2004 in revenge for a murder committed by their son.

They fled to Lincolnshire after being targeted by gunmen, and reported a prowler hours before their deaths.

The inquest is expected to consider alleged failures by Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire police to properly protect the couple.

Deaths were ordered

An inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found the Nottinghamshire force's sharing of intelligence with Lincolnshire Police was "unacceptable".

Family members requested the inquest, at Lincoln Crown Court, but members of the public will have to watch it on video link from a different court building due to security fears.

Colin Gunn, 40, of Nottingham was jailed for 35 years over the killings.

A court heard the crime boss ordered their deaths in revenge after the Stirlings' son, Michael O'Brien, murdered a friend of Gunn's nephew, Jamie Gunn, who subsequently fell into a deep depression and died from pneumonia.

Mr Stirland, 55, and his 51-year-old wife were forced to flee after a gun attack on their former Nottingham home and moved to Trusthorpe, where they were killed eight months later.

John Russell, 29, and Michael McNee, 22, were jailed for 30 and 25 years respectively, in 2006, for conspiracy to commit the murder.

The inquest is due to start on 2 February and could last up to three weeks.



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Nottingham Evening Post Inquest into Stirland's murders to open next month - 31 hrs ago



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