Craig Savage murder trial: CCTV footage shows night of the shooting

CCTV footage has been released showing a man, suspected of double murder, breaking into a St Leonards property shortly before his estranged wife and her mother were found shot dead.

Craig Savage arriving at Lewes Crown Court
Craig Savage arriving at Lewes Crown Court

In the footage, Craig Savage, 35, of no fixed abode, is seen walking calmly towards the Bexhill Road property on the evening of Friday, March 16, where his estranged wife Michelle Savage, her sister Raven Whitbread and her mother Heather Whitbread were eating a Chinese takeaway.

Michelle Savage, 32, and Heather Whitbread, 53, would later be found by police shot dead, alongside Michelle's pet dog Zeus.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Mr Savage, who is facing trial at Lewes Crown Court, denies their murders.

Craig Savage arriving at Lewes Crown Court

The footage, which has been shown to a jury three times, shows Mr Savage approaching the property with a stolen M4 semi-automatic .22 calibre rifle and smashing a window before climbing inside, where he remains for approximately three and a half minutes.

Benjamin Aina QC, prosecuting, claims Mr Savage entered the property to 'execute' his ex wife and her mother after she refused his attempts to reconcile their five-year marriage.

Mr Savage claims he never intended for Mrs Savage or Mrs Whitbread to die on March 16 and that the rifle fired accidentally after he tripped and got into a struggle with his wife.

He claims he intended to kidnap his wife on the night and have the police shoot him in front of her in a 'cop assisted suicide' as revenge for her ending their marriage.

In the CCTV footage, Mr Savage is seen leaving the property and walking back to his parked car with the rifle in full visibility before an armed police response unit arrives at the scene.

The defendant has been accused of aiming his rifle at the police as they attempted to apprehend him.

Mr Savage denies murdering Michelle Savage and Heather Whitbread, as well as a single charge of possessing a firearm with the intent to endanger public life.

He has pleaded guilty to robbing the semi-automatic rifle from Ryan Graves, a range manager at 1066 Target Sports, earlier in the evening of March 16.

The trial continues.

Related stories: