Critically ill Jehovah's Witness wife refuses blood transfusion after husband is gunned down 'by daughter's jilted boyfriend'

Mail, UK/September 22, 2008

A mother shot in the back by a gunman who killed her husband has refused blood transfusions in hospital because of her strict Jehovah's Witness beliefs.

The attack was allegedly carried out by their daughter's jilted boyfriend.

Adam Hustler was blasted at close range with a high-velocity hunting rifle at the family's isolated rural home on Saturday.

His wife, Amanda, was shot twice in the back as she tried to flee the gunman and was last night in a critical condition in hospital.

Yesterday friends of the family said the couple were strict Jehovah's Witnesses who had ordered their daughter, Danielle, to end a relationship with a man from outside the religion.

The friends said her boyfriend, Jonathan Cock, was 'devastated' by the break-up.

Police are still waiting to interview 23-year-old who suffered a single gunshot wound to the head before he was arrested in an armed siege 15 miles away near Penzance.

Danielle, 20, and her sister, Abigail, 16, were at home during the shooting at the family's £500,000 seven-bedroom house in the hamlet of Porth Kea, near Truro in Cornwall.

Horrified but unhurt, they raised the alarm after the attacker fled the house by car.

Neighbours did not hear the gunshots, which were masked by the noise from fireworks from the Truro Carnival two miles away.

Police and paramedics found the victims seriously injured. They were taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro where Mr Hustler died.

His wife, 39, was transferred to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where she was said to be in a critical condition. It is unknown whether she needed a blood transfusion, something which is forbidden for Jehovah's Witnesses.

Mr Hustler, 41, was the managing director of a successful drain-clearing business in Truro. Danielle works at the firm as an engineer, as do several other members of the family.

Neighbours said the family were prominent Jehovah's Witnesses who did not get involved in village activities.

They said their strict religious views may have led to conflict over Danielle's relationship.

Marie Laity, 32, who lives in the village of Porth Kea, said: 'All we have heard is it is something to do with the daughter's boyfriend. It is scary to have something this shocking happen so close.'

Fellow villager Les Boulter, 61, lived close to Mr Hustler and had contracted his waste management firm several times.

He said: 'Adam was a jolly bloke who did exactly what he said on the tin.

'He was a real high-flyer who was doing really well with the company and he had just expanded his fleet of vehicles.

'It must have been a multi-million pound operation that was growing year on year.'

Jehovah's Witness Tim Mears said almost 100 fellow worshippers prayed for the family at the Kingdom Hall in Truro.

He said: 'The whole family are very shocked by the terrible events and their friends and family are providing loving support and comfort.

'Our thoughts and prayers are with them, particularly the immediate family. This must be very difficult for them.'

He added: 'The whole family have been Jehovah's Witnesses for generations and I know Adam as a father and a friend.

'He is a lovely man who was a loving father and a faithful and loyal husband who cared very much about his wife and daughters.'

Porth Kea, close to the banks of the Fal, is in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It is one of Cornwall's most exclusive hamlets and contains just a few dozen houses.

The Hustler home is the biggest in the area, nestled at the end of a single-lane track.

Cornwall County councillor for Feock and Kea, Tomas Hill, added: 'Adam had just moved into his house and was renovating every last part of it.

'He had just finished and was looking forward to setting up a real family home, a dedicated family man.

'They were very respected and kept their lives very private from other people so nobody got to know them properly.

'It is one of the safest and most desirable places in Cornwall so for something like this to happen is a complete shock for everybody.'

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