Brandishing a gun at 18, the woman-hating stalker who shot dead his daughter and former lover

A father who gunned down his ex-girlfriend and four-year-old daughter had previously stalked his ex-wife with a crossbow and torched her car.

Andy Copland, described by a neighbour as a ‘woman hater’, shot Julie Harrison and their child Maisie before turning the gun on himself.

The little girl died minutes later in the arms of police at the former family home in Aldershot, Hampshire.

From boy to killer: Andy Copland brandishes a gun, aged 18

Copland married Mrs Barr, now 56, in 1973 but she left him and married her current husband William Barr, 45, in 1987.

The friend told how Copland had introduced his wife to Mr Barr in the 1980s when both men worked as kitchen fitters.

‘After she split from Andy she started a relationship with this much younger workmate and Andy was absolutely devastated,’ the family source said.

‘He went around stalking them with a crossbow and threatened to kill them both. I understand he vowed to kill her new man Billy.

'When he was harassing her she was so scared I believe she even had a panic button installed in her house. In the end Copland torched Christine’s car and went to prison.'

'Confident and happy': Maisie Copland (left) as a baby and (right) in face paint

The Barrs now live in Farnham, Surrey. The couple, who have two daughters, refused to comment on the claims.

Neighbours of Miss Harrison claimed she had been harassed by Copland in the weeks leading up to Christmas and had reported him to police.

Hampshire Police strongly denied this allegation.

A spokesman did reveal that Copland was jailed in 1986 for two years but did not disclose what his conviction was for.

In a chilling picture that emerged yesterday, Copland is seen as an 18-year-old holding a shotgun in 1971 in his parents’ back garden in Aldershot.

Victims: Maisie, four, and her mother Julie Harrison. They were shot by Andrew Copland, the little girl's father and Miss Harrison's ex-partner

A schoolfriend said Copland – a painter and decorator who had a 33-year-old daughter, Keely – was ‘interested in guns’.

He added: ‘He always had a temper on him. Something wouldn’t quite go his way and he would fly off the handle.’

Neighbours of Copland claimed he hated women.

Rachael Bryan described how she had tried to steer clear of him since moving last month to Aldershot with her young daughter after separating from her own husband.

‘He struck me as a woman hater and he wouldn’t appreciate it if I said I had done the same thing [as Julie],’ she said.

‘He just struck me as angry. Someone told me that he was obsessed with her.’

Distraught: Friends gather outside the family home in Aldershot, Hampshire, where the attack took place

Last night Miss Harrison’s ex-husband said she would have ‘fought to her final breath’ to protect her only child.

Kevin Moody, 47, told how the couple married in Horley, Surrey, in 1992, but split up four years later.

Proudly showing pictures of their wedding, Mr Moody - a printing firm manager - said: ‘Julie was a feisty girl - she would stand up for herself in any argument and we had a few when we were together.

‘When this man went for her she would have fought with her last breath to protect her daughter.’


The mother and toddler group that Miss Harrison and Maisie were members of yesterday paid a tribute to the pair at a short memorial service. The 20-strong church-based group laid flowers at the house where the pair were shot dead.

Tributes: Flowers left at the scene pay tribute to Maisie and her mother

Another neighbour, Robert Wood, 59, said he had heard that Copland had locked Miss Harrison in the house as soon as she arrived on Tuesday.

He said: 'I went into the house and watched what was happening from an upstairs window.

'We saw one police man arrive and peer through the letterbox. He must have heard or seen something because he immediately started kicking the door.

'Another policeman turned up and they went in.

'We expected someone to come out in handcuffs but then the cavalry turned up - there was everything from ambulances to helicopters.

'We had no idea what was going on. It was terrifying.'

Miss Harrison with her parents Reg and Betty on her wedding day in 1992

The head teacher of Maisie's school, St Michael's Infants in Aldershot, today paid tribute to the little girl.

Liz Mathias said: 'We were absolutely devastated to hear about the tragic incident involving Maisie.

'She was a delightful little girl and a daughter that anyone could be truly proud of.

'Although she had not been at our school for very long, she was an involved member of the school community.

'I know that she will be sadly missed by everyone.'

Investigation: Forensics officers emerge from the £250,000 house on Tuesday

Sally Denny, 35, whose four-year-old son Noah was in the same reception class as Maisie described her as a 'happy, cheeky girl' and said her mother Julie would be devastated.

She said: 'Maisie was so full of life - a happy, funny and cheeky girl who knew how to bring a smile to people's faces.

'She loved to sing songs by Katy Perry in the car on the way home from school and enjoyed playing kiss chase with Noah. In that way she was a bit of a minx.

'My last memory of her was seeing her perform in the school nativity. She was dressed as a star but she will always be an angel.

'I have known Julie two and a half years. She was a lovely reliable friend and a great fulltime mum. She was a quiet and gentle person.'

The bodies of Copland and his daughter Maisie were removed from the £250,000 cream-coloured, end-terrace home on Tuesday night.

Post-mortem examinations are being carried out on their bodies to determine the exact causes of death.

Friends also arrived at the scene to lay flowers and pay their respects.