Asian Man kills wife and child and then commits suicide in Britain
George Pattison, who is believed to have murdered his wife Emma Pattison and daughter Lettie before killing himself, died of a shotgun wound to the head, the inquest opening into his death has heard at Surrey Coroner’s Court. The three were found dead at their home in the grounds of Epsom College, Surrey, on February 5 after Mrs Pattison, 45, made a distressed call to her sister.
Opening the inquest into Mr Pattison’s death on Tuesday, coroner Simon Wickens said: “I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to George’s wider family at this difficult time.”
Coroner’s officer, Kelly Truss, told Surrey Coroner’s Court Mr Pattison’s post-mortem examination was carried out by Dr Ashley Fegan-Earle at East Surrey Hospital three days after the shooting.
She said the cause of death was given as a “shotgun wound to the head”.
The court heard that toxicology and histology reports had been carried out and Mr Pattison was identified by his teeth.
Mr Wickens fixed a date for a pre-inquest review hearing on June 27. Hearings for Mrs Pattison and her daughter will be opened separately on another date.
Surrey Police has not revealed details of how the family died, but a firearm which was legally registered to Mr Pattison, 39, was found at the scene.
He was in contact with police days before the tragedy about changing the address on his licence after the family moved onto school grounds, but no concerns appear to have been raised about a gun and ammunition being kept at his home.
Earlier this month, relatives of Mrs Pattison and Lettie released a tribute via Surrey Police which said: “To see the esteem in which Emma is held by all who knew her is an enormous comfort.”
It added: “To see the esteem in which Emma is held by all who knew her is an enormous comfort.
“She was everything one could hope for in a daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend, teacher and so much more. We are an extremely close family and family was at the centre of Emma and Lettie’s universe.”
The statement added: “The Epsom College community had become part of that universe for them both.
“Seven-year-old Lettie was Emma’s pride and joy: an adorable, vibrant little girl with a compelling curiosity, a heart-melting smile and an intellect beyond her years.
“The two of them were inseparable and we take comfort in that they will remain so.
“Emma had a warm, welcoming smile and sparkling, blue eyes, full of optimism. Over the last 11 days we’ve noticed the sky has been bright blue, with at times a warm glow of pink.”
Mrs Pattison became Epsom’s first female head in September 2022 after six years as headteacher at Croydon High School in south London.
The new headteacher of Epsom College vowed recently to honour the legacy of his predecessor.
Sir Anthony Seldon, a former Vice-Chancellor at Buckingham University and a former Master of Wellington College, is to take up the role from March 1 until September 2024, when a permanent head will be installed.
He said: “I am committed to ensuring Emma’s legacy is honoured and that Epsom College moves forward in the manner she intended.
“This is what Emma would have wanted for all the pupils and staff she had worked with, supported, and for whom she had such high hopes.
“Emma was driven, ambitious and courageous – there is no better way to respect her memory than for Epsom College to forge ahead and embody the values that guided her life.”
Epsom College’s President Lord Alex Carlile said executives at the school wished “this appointment had never been necessary.”
He said: “Emma was a wonderful person, an educator of distinction and someone who was set to take the college on an exciting journey.
“That her time was so cruelly cut short is devastating to all that knew her, and all those who were yet to know her but would have benefited immeasurably from her talents.”
Surrey Police referred itself to the watchdog Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) over its contact with Mr Pattison on February 2.
An IOPC spokesperson said five days after the shootings: “We received a mandatory referral from Surrey Police on February 5 related to the deaths of Emma, Lettie and George Pattison.
“We have reviewed the recent contact Surrey Police had with Mr Pattison regarding his firearms licence and have decided that no investigation is required. Following a thorough assessment of the available evidence, we determined on February 8 that the matter should be returned to the force to handle as it deems appropriate.
“We have reminded the force of its obligations, and that if evidence were to come to light that anyone serving with the police may have breached standards of professional behaviour or committed a criminal offence in connection with this, they should refer relevant matters to us.”