A killer who shot a man dead on his doorstep had surrendered guns returned to him TWICE by police, it has been revealed.
Matthew Moseley, 50, was jailed for a minimum of 26 years after a jury found him guilty of murdering dad-of-two Lee Holt.
The trial had heard that tree surgeon Moseley had pressured his 14-year-old son to take the blame for the shooting.
Giving him a life sentence with a minimum of 26 years behind bars, the judge told him: “How any father could do that to their son is difficult enough to comprehend but what is truly incomprehensible is the cynical way in which you sought to manipulate, and pressurise your son into accepting responsibility for the shooting and death of Lee Holt.”
After the sentencing it emerged that Moseley had twice voluntarily surrendered his licensed guns after police received complaints from neighbours, including a claim he had threatened a local resident.
Lancashire police has voluntarily referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over the matter.
Preston Crown Court heard that Moseley pulled the trigger outside his home in Oswaldtwistle killing Mr Holt last October.
He then handed the firearm to son Thomas and told him to tell police he was holding the gun.
Thomas made the fake confession and his father stayed silent as the teenager was arrested and then led away in handcuffs, the court heard.
The teenager later changed his account of the Barnard Close incident, and told police that his father was the shooter, but the defendant maintained his innocence.
Moseley was found guilty of murder by a jury at Preston Crown Court last week following a three-week trial.
Mr Holt, 32, went to Barnard Close with his partner, Kate Phelan, 34, and her 15-year-son, Wesley Metcalfe, to confront Thomas over an ongoing dispute between the two schoolboys.
Witnesses said Ms Phelan banged on the front windows and Mr Holt kicked the front door as they shouted for the Moseleys to come out.
Matthew Moseley opened the front door after he had loaded a semi-automatic Beretta shotgun, and blasted Mr Holt once in the chest from up to 10ft away.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Bryan told the defendant: “There was no possible justification for your actions, nor was there any suggestion that you were acting in self-defence.
“But matters did not stop there.
“Far from unloading the gun and providing first aid to your victim, you passed the shotgun to your 14-year-old son, Thomas - itself an irresponsible act in the context of an ongoing volatile situation.
“From that moment on, you falsely sought to blame your son for the shooting.
“You allowed your son to be arrested and questioned on suspicion of murder.
“Your continual denial of guilt resulted in him having to give evidence against his own father and members of Lee Holt’s family having to relive the terrible events of the night in question.”
In a statement after the trial, Lancashire police said: “Prior to the incident Matthew Moseley was a firearms and shotgun certificate holder. His certificate was not due to expire until May 2019.
“In 2005 Matthew Moseley voluntarily surrendered his weapons and certificates after Lancashire Constabulary received a complaint that he had threatened a neighbour.
“After consideration of the evidence by the CPS no charges were brought against Moseley. His certificate and weapons were returned to him later that same year.
“Following complaints from neighbours in 2011, Moseley voluntarily surrendered his weapons and certificates once more.
“Again these allegations did not result in any charges being brought and following a review in March 2015, Moseley successfully applied for the return of his shotguns.
“A voluntary referral to the IOPC has been made.”
A spokesperson for the Independent Office for Police Conduct said: “We received a voluntary referral from Lancashire Constabulary earlier this year in relation to information they held about Matthew Moseley prior to the death of Lee Holt.
“We are currently clarifying information contained in the referral, and analysing documentation from the force.”