Husband of Epsom College head Emma Pattison had failed wine business and dreamed of 'doing something better'

10 February 2023, 06:35 | Updated: 12 February 2023, 07:25

George Pattison had a failed wine business
George Pattison had a failed wine business. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Will Taylor

The husband of the murdered Epsom College headteacher Emma Pattison had a failed wine business and was "desperate to do something better" than being an accountant.

Police believe George Pattison killed Mrs Pattison, 45, and their seven-year-old daughter Lettie before turning the gun on himself.

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.

It has emerged Pattison, 39, tried to set up a "specialist importer of high quality, low yield wines" called Castle Street Vintners.

Read More: 'He must have gone mad': Family of Epsom College killer reveal their shock after 'murder-suicide'

A presentation for the company, which he set up with an Australian friend, said he was a "career accountant desperate to do something better with his days", according to a pack found by The Telegraph.

The pitch said the pair decided to start the company after a trip to buy wine in the Alsace region of France and in Germany, and after a blind taste test with friends and family "proved that Fritz Waßmer's wines are very popular".

It is also believed the couple had counselling to overcome marital problems before last week's tragedy.

Pattison is suspected of killing his wife, Emma, and daughter Lettie before turning the gun on himself
Pattison is suspected of killing his wife, Emma, and daughter Lettie before turning the gun on himself. Picture: Social media

"My love affair with wine started on my first trip to Burgundy, where I found a few wines that not only captured the natural characteristics of the grapes but elevated them – this was a life-changing experience for me," Pattison wrote.

He went on to open Rees Charles Capital Limited, a wine wholesale company in 2012. It owed £318 by 2014, the most recent year shown in accounts, and it was voluntarily struck off in 2016.

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

He then opened a management consultancy business called Tanglewood, which he took a £14,000 director's loan from in 2021.

Pattison, a former Deloitte accountant who was born in Jamaica and studied at Durham University, would potter about "with his wine and his paper", neighbours at the family’s old home in Surrey said.

Residents near the property in Caterham had not seen Mrs Pattison or Lettie since the summer, and documents show a mortgage was taken out for the home in January 2022 – eight years after they bought it for £600,000.

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

The deaths devastated the school community
The deaths devastated the school community. Picture: Alamy

In 2016, Pattison reported his wife to the police after he said she struck him, but the case was dropped when he refused to continue the case, dismissing it as trivial.

Pattison was also said to not be in work and it was suggested Mrs Pattison was the breadwinner.

He was a firearm owner and a weapon at the scene was registered to him.

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