Epsom College head Emma Pattison held dinner party for friends hours before husband killed her and young daughter

9 February 2023, 07:39

Police believe George Pattison killed his wife and their daughter
Police believe George Pattison killed his wife and their daughter. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The headteacher of Epsom College held a dinner party with her husband hours before he shot her and their daughter dead then took his own life.

Emma and George Pattison had friends around at their home in the school grounds, when the 39-year-old husband showed no sign of what would unfold early on Sunday morning.

The deaths of Mrs Pattison, 45, and Lettie, seven, have horrified the country and crushed the community at the £42,000-a-year school.

A friend told The Sun: "On Saturday night they threw a dinner party. It was quite an intimate affair and literally turned out to be their last supper.

"Nothing unusual happened. There were no arguments, no indication he would go on to do something so horrific a short time later."

Read more: 'Gunshots heard' before Epsom College's headteacher found dead with husband and daughter at home 'near rifle range'

Police treat it as a murder-suicide
Police treat it as a murder-suicide. Picture: Social media

Surrey Police considers the tragedy to have been a murder-suicide. Pattison was a licensed gun holder and had notified police about his change of address, which he was required to do, with the family having moved to the area after Mrs Pattison began working as headteacher at Epsom.

It has emerged he reported Mrs Pattison for assault in 2016, but declined to cooperate further with police, saying the issue was trivial.

Read more: Husband of Epsom College head was living apart from family weeks before shooting dead wife and seven-year-old daughter

Mrs Pattison had made a call to a relative in distress shortly before the shooting, saying she had concerns about her husband, leading that relative to travel to their house.

When they arrived, all three were dead. It is believed a school worker who lived nearby heard gunshots and raised the alarm.

Surrey Police said earlier in the week: "The incident at an address within Epsom College in the early hours of Sunday, February 5, is now being treated as a homicide investigation.

Police cordoned off the street to the family's home
Police cordoned off the street to the family's home. Picture: Alamy

"Officers were called to the property at around 1.10am by the South East Coast Ambulance Service.

"On arrival they found the bodies of three people who police are confident are Emma Pattison, daughter Lettie and her husband George.

"The deaths have been reported to the coroner for formal identification. The family's next of kins have been informed and are being supported.

"At this stage, officers are confident there is no third-party involvement and there is no wider threat or risk to the community.

"A firearm was found at the scene and has been recovered by officers, however, causes of death will not be confirmed until post-mortems have been completed later this week."

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