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

8 February 2023, 12:41 | Updated: 8 February 2023, 13:04

A woman who lives locally said: "She was just a typical, well brought-up, lovely little girl. It's just tragic."
A woman who lives locally said: "She was just a typical, well brought-up, lovely little girl. It's just tragic.". Picture: LBC

By Danielle DeWolfe

The husband of an Epsom College head teacher - who police believe turned the gun on himself after murdering his wife and young daughter - is reported to have been living apart from the family in the weeks before their deaths.

The family had only moved into the new property on the grounds of Epsom College "three weeks before their deaths" according to reports.

However, it's alleged George Pattison, 39, remained at the family's £1.5million Caterham home pending its sale.

Neighbours say the dad had been "flitting between that house and the property at Epsom" prior to the keys being handed over last month.

Adding: "I could see the lights on in the evening and his car was around but never hers."

Neighbours say the dad had been "flitting between that house and the property at Epsom" prior to the keys being handed over last month.
Neighbours say the dad had been "flitting between that house and the property at Epsom" prior to the keys being handed over last month. Picture: LBC / Alamy

It followed the news that Mrs Pattison, 45, had made a distressed phone call to her sister Deborah Kirk in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The call was urgent enough for Ms Kirk to immediately drive out to check on her sister in Surrey. 

After arriving at the school, she discovered the body of her sister, alongside those of her husband George and seven-year-old Lettie.

Police are treating the incident as a homicide investigation and now believe Mr Pattison shot both his wife and his child before turning the gun on himself in what's branded a 'murder-suicide'.

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According to the Daily Mail, a former neighbour of the family's added: "I wasn't sure if anybody had actually moved out because I'd seen George quite recently. I saw him in the run-up to Christmas.

"He was by himself, Emma and Lettie were not with him.

"His BMW 8 Series was parked on the drive. Emma drove a 4x4 but I'd not seen that for a while."

The incident is now being treated as a homicide investigation, Surrey Police have confirmed.

The neighbour added he "hadn't seen her nor her daughter since that day and that must have been earlier last summer.

"I think she moved out before George.

"The new owners arrived about three weeks or so ago and just before they moved in, a removal firm had taken away the last remaining bits of furniture belonging to Emma and George from the house."

A neighbour noted: 'The new owners arrived about three weeks or so ago and just before they moved in, a removal firm had taken away the last remaining bits of furniture belonging to Emma and George from the house.
A neighbour noted: 'The new owners arrived about three weeks or so ago and just before they moved in, a removal firm had taken away the last remaining bits of furniture belonging to Emma and George from the house. Picture: LBC / Alamy

The official causes of death of all three will be completed later this week once post-mortems have been completed.

The gun that was recovered by police was license 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.

Surrey Police has referred itself to the independent watchdog following the triple shooting.

Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey, Senior Investigating Officer on the case, said: “This is an incredibly traumatic incident and we are working around the clock to investigate and understand the exact circumstances which led to this point.

"We understand the public concern and upset, and we will clarify what we can, when we can, while respecting the right to a level of privacy for the families of those who have lost their lives.

A woman who lives locally said: "She was just a typical, well brought-up, lovely little girl. It's just tragic."
A woman who lives locally said: "She was just a typical, well brought-up, lovely little girl. It's just tragic.". Picture: Getty

"It's believed Mr Pattison reported his wife to police in 2016 after she allegedly hit him, though the claim was withdrawn, as he said it was 'trivial', according to The Times.

"The couples daughter was "perfect in every way", say those who knew the family.

Nursery worker Chloe Rathbown said she was heartbroken about the death.

The 27-year-old, who used to look after Lettie, told The Times: "They were such a lovely family and Lettie was perfect in every way.

"Past neighbours of the family painted the picture of a happy girl who had been brought up well.

"You used to hear her playing in the garden, she was always asking them questions, and just seemed like a happy, inquisitive little girl," a past neighbour told The Telegraph.

A woman who lives locally said: "She was just a typical, well brought-up, lovely little girl. It's just tragic."

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