We were shot at a party

Kathryn and Laura were looking forward to a night of fun and games when they were invited over to a friend’s house. Instead, the night ended in terror for the girls who were shot at the party by the host’s boyfriend. They told their story to Reveal magazine…

When friends Kathryn Milburn and Laura Reilly were invited to an Ann Summer’s party, they expected a night of smutty fun and games. Instead, the evening ended in terror for the girls when the host’s boyfriend Luke Moyes, 29, opened fire with an automatic air pistol. The pair managed to escape, and in October this year, Luke was jailed for the attacks at Preston Crown Court.
Kathryn was shot in the stomach and Laura in her legs and bottom.

Recalling the night of the attack, Laura, an insurance broker from Preston, Lancs. says: ‘It was like something out of a horror film when Luke starting firing shots around the kitchen. Everything happened so quickly and I really didn’t think we’d get out of the house alive. Luke lost all control, and I thought he would kill us both. He just flipped and looked like a madman as he chased us around the house.’

It was in April this year when the girls were invited to the party by their friend Justine.  For Kathryn, a mum of three, it was a chance to let her hair down after having her son Chaise seven months earlier. ‘I hardly ever went out and it was the first time I’d left Chaise for the evening,’ she says. ‘I was really looking forward to having a couple of drinks and a good laugh.
‘When we got to the party, we started playing games and when the rep needed a couple of models for the saucy outfits, Laura and I dared one another to volunteer. I wore the French maid and Laura was a saucy sailor. Everyone was laughing and the mood in the room was relaxed.’

By 11pm, most of the guests had left when Luke arrived home unexpectedly. He’d been at a wedding and Justine wasn’t expecting him back until the next
morning. ‘I’d only met Luke a couple of times before but I knew he’d been in the army,’ says Kathryn, a carer, from Preston. ‘As Laura, Justine and I chatted in the kitchen, Luke poured himself a drink and joined in our conversation. Then he disagreed with something I was saying and he became aggressive. I tried to shrug it off because I didn’t want an argument with him but he kept on
shouting.

‘When he went upstairs, I thought he’d gone to bed. Moments later, Luke reappeared wearing a mask, and he was carrying an air rifle. He was so calm as he came into the kitchen and pointed the gun straight at Kathyrn,’ says Laura. ‘Then there was a huge bang, and I saw she’d been shot in the stomach. She dived behind the kitchen cabinet for cover and when Luke’s back was turned, she
ran for the door. Pain tore through my legs as Luke then fired at me. Kathryn pulled me back into the kitchen with Justine but Luke was following us.’

Laura managed to close the kitchen door just in time, shutting Luke out. ‘She had his hand trapped in the crack of the door but he was booting the bottom of the door with his foot,’ says Kathryn.
‘We were terrified and Laura was screaming at me to call the police. My hands were shaking and as I dialled 999 on my mobile phone, Luke was still trying to get to us. He then grabbed a lamp and smashed the glass door panels. There was glass everywhere. While Laura tried to keep the door shut, Luke was trying to force himself in. She had to let go so we flew towards the back door and ran into the back garden. We were sure he would kill us.’

Before Luke could reach the girls, the police arrived and Luke fled. He was arrested later that night and the friends thought their nightmare was over.

‘The night before Luke was to appear in court, he sent my boyfriend Matthew a video,’ Kathryn explains. ‘When he passed me his phone, I felt sick. It was a minute long and Luke was sitting in the dark, with blood on his arms. He was smearing his blood on lips, saying I’d messed up. It was terrifying and the next day I reported it to the police.’
In October this year, at Preston Crown Court, Luke Moyes pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm, two assaults, possessing an air weapon and criminal damage. He also admitted sending the video, and was jailed for 22 months.

Moyes’ defence argued he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) ‘I don’t buy it,’ says Laura. ‘He didn’t seem anxious and he looked like he was in total control of his actions. In my opinion, I don’t think he was showing signs of somebody with PTSD.’
Kathryn adds: ‘Our injuries have healed but I still remember that night as though it was yesterday. I couldn’t sleep for weeks afterwards because every time I shut my eyes, I saw the rifle. I still can’t believe I was shot at a party. Justine was a good friend and we’ve now lost touch. I just want to forget about what happened and now Luke is in prison, I feel safe. I still can’t understand how a fun night with the girls could end like it did. One things for certain, it’s a party neither Laura or I will be be forgetting in a hurry.’

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Author: Claire Dunwell
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