Epsom College headteacher who was shot dead by husband wanted to leave him, sister reveals

11 December 2023, 08:29

Emma Pattison, the head of Epsom College, was shot dead by her husband in a suspected murder suicide
Emma Pattison, the head of Epsom College, was shot dead by her husband in a suspected murder suicide. Picture: Surrey Police/Social Media
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Epsom College headteacher Emma Pattison, who was shot dead by her husband, wanted to leave him, her sister has revealed.

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Emma Pattison was killed in February by her husband in a suspected murder suicide. Their seven-year-old daughter, Lettie, was also killed.

Emma's sister, Deborah Kirk, said she considered her relationship with her husband George to be abusive and claims she was the victim of coercive control.

Deborah says she had been with Emma the week before she was killed, when she 'made up her mind to leave' her husband.

Emma Pattison and her daughter Lettie
Emma Pattison and her daughter Lettie. Picture: Surrey Police

"I am trying to figure out what the lesson is here. It does not, for us, lie in ensuring they decide to leave – because she had, courageously, got that far," she wrote in a letter to her sister, published in The Sunday Times.

She added: "I looked forward to having my sister back. I looked forward to her having a loving relationship and looking back at this with amazement that she endured it for so long."

Read More: Husband of Epsom College head Emma Pattison who killed her and their young daughter 'took his own life with shotgun'

Read More: New Epsom College headteacher vows to honour predecessor Emma Pattison after mum and daughter found dead

Ms Pattison told a close family member she had concerns about her husband the night before she was found dead alongside him and their daughter.

The gun that was recovered by police after Emma's death was licensed and registered to George Pattison, who had been in contact with Surrey Police just three days before the shooting over changing the address on his license.

They were found dead at their home on the grounds of the £42,000-a-year school after Mrs Pattison called a family member in distress about her husband.

She had recently been appointed headteacher at the prestigious Epsom College.

Emma Pattison is understood to have been killed by her husband in a triple murder-suicide
Emma Pattison is understood to have been killed by her husband in a triple murder-suicide. Picture: Epsom College

While Ms Pattinson's neighbour described them as a "lovely family", but Mrs Kirk claimed her sister was a victim of coercive control.

“I did see the relationship as abusive. I did and I told her so. I think though, the sound of any voice of a caring loved one saying the same thing over and over again is something one becomes deaf to," she wrote.

Mrs Kirk says she wrote the letters to her sister after receiving a "harrowing" update from Surrey Police about the investigation into the death of her family members.

"We thought we knew it all but we did not. We heard the story of our dearest girls and what they had suffered not just that evening but prior to it and it has introduced me to a new level of suffering," she said.

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