Braintree: Double Murder Trial Underway

A "jealous and frustrated" man from Essex shot his former partner and their two-year-old daughter dead in a violent altercation just hours before they were due to go to court over custody of the toddler, a court heard today (Wednesday 18th April).

David Oakes, 50, allegedly went to the house where Christine Chambers, 38, lived where he subjected his ex-partner to "degrading assaults" over several hours and blasted both her and their daughter Shania with a shotgun.

Miss Chambers' other daughter, who was 10 at the time, escaped from the house in Braintree and ran for help after the incident on June 6th last year.

Oakes, of Canney Road, Steeple, was treated in hospital for a gunshot injury following the incident, and later charged with two counts of murder.

He appeared in Chelmsford Crown Court at the start of his trial today, wearing a suit and with visible scarring to one side of his face, but was not in court for the opening of the case.

Prosecutor Orlando Pownall QC told the court Oakes had met Miss Chambers, who had four children, including their daughter Shania, in July 2005.

But after a "tempestuous" relationship the couple split up in April 2011 and were involved in legal proceedings over who Shania would live with.

They were due to attend a residence hearing on June 6th, but in the early hours Oakes allegedly arrived at the house in Bartram Avenue, Braintree, with a double-barrelled shotgun, an axe, petrol and other implements.

The court heard Oakes allegedly attacked Miss Chambers, hitting her and forcing her to cut clumps of her own hair off, before shooting her several times, as well as blasting their daughter in the face.

The case continues.