21/04/2017 18:26 BST | Updated 22/04/2017 13:36 BST

Luke Hart Pens Heartfelt Letter To 'Hero' Brother After Mum And Sister Killed In Domestic Violence Shooting

'I act strong, but he is strong.'

A man whose father killed his mother, sister and himself has written a heartfelt letter to his hero - his little brother who helped him get “through our darkest moments”.

Luke Hart, 27, said he “wouldn’t be here” without Ryan Hart who “dared to remain resistant” in the face of their controlling, abusive dad. 

Lance Hart, 57, killed his wife Claire, 50, and daughter Charlotte, 19, in the car park of a leisure centre in Spalding, Lincolnshire, before turning his shotgun on himself.

Luke Hart
Claire Hart and her 19-year-old daughter Charlotte were shot dead by her husband Lance 

The killings were last July, just days after Claire Hart had left the family home after the couple’s 26-year marriage broke down. 

Police found a 12-page note detailing the father’s plans on a memory stick in his car. He had written: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Nine months later, Luke Hart has written an open letter to his younger brother thanking him for being his “hero”.

He calls the letter “something that I’ve never been able to say and probably never will be able to say in person to my little brother”. 

Luke Hart
Luke, pictured here with younger brother Ryan and sister Charlotte, has written a heartfelt open letter about domestic abuse 

Luke is also crowdfunding on Ryan Hart’s behalf in the hopes of allowing him to “follow his dreams”.

On the fundraising page, Luke said the killings were “the result of decades of abuse and controlling and intimidating behaviour”.

“Our father was a terrorist living within our own home,” he writes. “He had no cause but to frighten his family and to generate his own esteem from trampling and bullying us.”  

Adding that he “wouldn’t be here without my little brother”, Luke continued: “I act strong, but he is strong. Even when we struggled through our darkest moments against our father, Ryan dared to remain resistant when I had broken down and couldn’t face any more. 

“He was still able to love and believe in a world that our father had filled with hate. For that Ryan suffered the strongest wrath from our father,” he added. 

“Nothing can ever replace what we lost on the 19th July and no words can describe what we have endured. Every day I still feel the panic and scramble for the reset button.

“For all that we’ve been through; there isn’t much I can give Ryan to show my appreciation. He is the person I’ve needed to stand up for me when I am too weak.” 

Explaining why he started the fundraising page, Luke - who now lives with his brother - said: “I want Ryan to know that I care, and I want him to know that other people care too. 

Luke Hart
Charlotte Hart was just 19 when she was killed 

“I want him to believe that good things can happen and to believe in the future that lies ahead of him.

“As we spend the rest of our lives rebuilding; as we look to find new things to believe in, new hope and new meaning, I want him to be free to be the person he deserves to be.”

The post concludes: “It’s Ryan’s 26th birthday on the 22nd of April and I want to wish him the best future that he could ever hope for; I hope you can join me.

“My little brother is my hero and I love him.”  

Luke Hart
Luke says 'nothing' can replace what he and his brother lost in the shooting 

Hart told The Huffington Post UK that he felt he owed it to his little brother and others to show “it’s OK to talk about what has happened”. 

“If we can’t talk to other people and share our experience then we haven’t truly owned it ourselves,” he said. 

“There will be others suffering as we did and I want them to know that they aren’t alone. 

“The scariest part of going through something so traumatic is how separate it can make you feel from the world.” 

More than £1,000 has already been raised for Ryan 

More than £1,000 has already been raised since the crowdfunding page was set up on Friday morning. 

A woman named Liz Gooders donated £20, saying: “You have shown huge courage Luke just to even write these incredible words for your brother. Believe me, you too are a hero!” 

Another donor added: “You are both a reason why evil in the world will not triumph. All the very best to you for your future.”  

Useful links: 

Refuge - Domestic violence help for women and children - 0808 2000 247. 

Women’s Aid -  Support for abused women and children. 

National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 2000 247. 

Broken Rainbow - The LGBT domestic violence charity - 0845 2605 560. 

Men’s Advice Line - For advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse - 0808 8010 327.