John Hunt family: Tributes to ‘loveliest, gentlest’ wife and daughters of BBC star after crossbow killings

Emotional tributes have been paid to a mother and her two daughters killed in a crossbow attack in Hertfordshire, with friends, neighbours and colleagues describing them as the “loveliest, gentlest” family.

Shocked residents left flowers at the scene in Ashlyn Close as they spoke of their horror, paying tribute to the wife and daughters of BBC racing commentator John Hunt as “the most gentle, beautiful family”, who is understood to have a third daughter.

Carol Hunt, 61, along with Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25, was discovered with fatal wounds at their home in Bushey on Tuesday, with 26-year-old suspect Kyle Clifford tracked down by police at Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield the following evening after an extensive manhunt.

Follow latest updates as suspect Kyle Clifford remains in hospital in critical condition

Detectives have yet to speak to Clifford, who remains in a serious condition in hospital, but a crossbow has been recovered.

Hertfordshire Constabulary confirmed it had received no previous reports of incidents, after exploring whether there had been previous contact with Clifford or the victims – as it emerged Louise was the ex-partner of the suspect.

During his trip to the Nato summit in Washington DC, prime minister Sir Keir Starmer told the BBC: “First let me just say how awful this incident was, and our condolences and thoughts are obviously with all of the family members and family affected.

“In relation to crossbows, the home secretary has announced that she will look at the legislation, and she will.”

Carol Hunt, 61, and her daughters Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25 (Supplied)
Carol Hunt, 61, and her daughters Hannah, 28, and Louise, 25 (Supplied)

On Thursday, further searches took place at a house linked to Clifford’s brother, Bradley Clifford, who was jailed for life with a minimum term of 23 years for the murder of moped passenger Soban Khan in 2018.

According to the Metropolitan Police, at the time of the murder Bradley Clifford had targeted the moped before crashing into it, and continued to assault Mr Khan after the collision.

Officers were seen at the address in Rendlesham Road, Enfield, in relation to the deaths.

One tribute left at the scene read: “Hannah, Louise and Carol, I wish none of this was real. I wish I could hug you all, and tell you how much you meant to me. I wish you could hug each other. Love you forever.”

Another read: “Words cannot express how devastated I am that you’re gone. The most gentle beautiful family. Forever loved.”

A friend of Louise – who ran a dog grooming business – said she was “always a positive person” and that he could not think of “anything bad to say about her”.

In an interview with BBC News, he said: “I knew Louise back from school days and she was really sweet, very kind, always a positive person. I can’t think of anything bad to say about her – a really lovely person all round, a super hard-working person.”

Luisa, another of Louise’s friends, used her dog grooming business and said she would often send her pictures of her dog asleep during grooming, telling Sky News: “That’s how much of a wonderful, relaxing person Louise was”.

A woman delivers floral tributes near to the scene in Ashlyn Close, Bushey (Jonathan Brady/PA)
A woman delivers floral tributes near to the scene in Ashlyn Close, Bushey (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Lea Holloway, 60, said she had known Carol since she was 16, telling reporters outside St James’ Church after a vigil on Thursday morning: “We grew up together and were pregnant at the same time. This is the stuff nightmares are made of.

“I was there the night she met John. It was in a nightclub in Hemel Hempstead. We went out together, went to birthdays and events. It’s very difficult. She was the nicest, kindest, sweetest person you could ever meet. A beautiful person.”

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Mark Chapman choked up with tears as he sent his “love and thoughts” to his fellow commentator and friend at the start of the Euro 2024 pre-match show on Wednesday evening.

“This has been a heartbreaking day,” he told listeners. “John Hunt is our colleague and our friend, not just to the current 5 Live sport team but to all of those who have worked here with him over the past 20 years and also to all of you who have enjoyed his superb commentaries.

“On behalf of everybody connected to 5 Live sport, our love and thoughts and support are with John and his family.”

BBC racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght added: “There are no words. Like everyone else, I feel numb and sick on John’s behalf at such incomprehensible evil.

“Everyone who knows John knows he is the absolute archetypal family man, so proud of them, so it’s impossible to know what he can be going through.

“But I know I’m speaking for the whole racing community and the whole wider sports media community as well, both of which he’s been part of for so long, when I say everyone is sending sympathy, love and support to him. It’s just awful.”

A view of the scene in Ashlyn Close where friends and neighbours laid floral tributes to the family (Jonathan Brady/PA)
A view of the scene in Ashlyn Close where friends and neighbours laid floral tributes to the family (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Hannah Hunt’s colleagues at the Anti-Ageing Clinic in Radlett paid tribute to the 28-year-old as a “fantastic” therapist who had been popular with customers.

In a post on Facebook, staff at the clinic said: “It is with deep regret and sadness of the horrific murder on Tuesday night of our skin therapist Hannah.

“She was a fantastic therapist and clients loved her. We send our condolences and prayers to her Dad, sister and family. She was very much a part of our team. Please bear with us at this terrible time.”

Neighbour Su Kehinde, 60, who laid flowers at a makeshift tribute in the area on Wednesday, said: “They were the loveliest, gentlest family. They were the meekest human beings. They did not deserve this. They were beautiful souls.”

Her daughter April, aged 32, said that Hannah “always had a smile” and was “hard-working, a hard grafter and really gentle”.

Glyn Nicholas, 77, who has lived on the same road as the victims for 50 years, said: “They were a private family, all very nice, a private family. They all did their own things. Louise started a business a couple of years ago, and it was a thriving business – we all took our dogs there to be groomed.”