Published: 13:31, 12 September 2019
| Updated: 15:32, 12 September 2019
The family of a man shot dead in Maidstone took his ashes in to court only to hear a jury acquit his killer of murder.
Andrew Jenkins ex-wife Tina Jenkins and daughter Lauren-Lucy say Jeffery Mills' acquittal sends a message to young people that it is okay to carry guns for protection.
Andrew Jenkins's family hit back at court verdict
A jury cleared Mills of both murder and manslaughter at Maidstone Crown Court today after Andrew Jenkins was gunned down at Winchester House, on the Shepway estate, in March.
Speaking outside court, ex-wife Tina Jenkins and daughter Lauren-Lucy, both from Birmingham, told KentOnline they would be appealing the decision.
Tina, 50, said: "[Mills] didn't go to the police to say he felt threatened, but instead when Andrew approached and got inside, he shot him dead.
"What is that saying to the United Kingdom?
"Is it just knives we need to worry about? No, because what has been said today is that it's okay if you feel threatened and you obtain guns, you can actually use them in self-defence.
"That to me is just grotesque. What is this country coming to? What are the government going to do about this?
"This hasn't ended for us, we're going to take it for a retrial, we'll take it to the Supreme Court to get justice for Andrew."
Daughter Lauren-Lucy Jenkins, 23, who stormed out of the courtroom in tears shortly after the verdict was delivered, had brought the ashes of her father, who lived in Rochester, to the trial.
She added: "My dad is in a box now, there's no justice.
"My memories [of him] are like dreams to me. I can't actually believe he's gone and he's not here any more.
"He was the best father, he was a bear, that was the best way I could describe him.
"He was a lovely gentleman who would help you out with anything. If you ever had a problem, he was there."
Mills, 54, will be sentenced this afternoon and is facing five years in prison after admitting possessing illegal weapons.
More by this authorTom Pyman