Epsom College head called relative hours before shooting tragedy

Epsom College: Police cordon after family found dead

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Epsom College headteacher Emma Pattison contacted a close relative to voice her concerns about her husband, just hours before the couple and seven-year-old daughter Lettie were found dead at their home, an insider has claimed. Meanwhile it has also emerged that days earlier, George Pattison, 39, had been in contact with Surrey Police about his gun licence in order to change his address after the family moved to the school site from Caterham.

The bodies of all three were found at the cottage in the grounds of Epsom College on Sunday in what is being treated as a possible murder-suicide.

Mrs Pattison, 45, had contacted a close relative with concerns about her husband shortly before the tragedy, but when they arrived at the house they found all three members of the family dead, The Times reported.

Surrey Police today confirmed that officers have launched a homicide investigation.

While a gun was found at the scene the force said causes of death will not be confirmed until post-mortem examinations have been carried out later this week.

A police statement said: “We had contact with George on Thursday February 2 after he notified us of a previous change of address, as is routine.

“Due to the short period of time between that contact and this incident, we have made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.”

The IOPC said it is assessing the information available to decide if any further action is necessary.

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.

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“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.”

Mr Pattison had held a gun licence for a number of years and understands it was up for renewal early last year.

He had not been reported to Surrey Police before, but in 2016 had contacted them to claim his wife had hit him, before withdrawing the claim.

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Changes were made to gun licensing systems in the wake of shooting tragedies in Plymouth and West Sussex with new digital markers put in place to flag up to GPs relevant medical changes in patients with firearms licences.

In August 2021 Jake Davison killed his mother Maxine Davison, 51, three-year-old Sophie Martyn, her father, Lee, 43, Stephen Washington, 59, and Kate Shepherd, 66, in Keyham, Plymouth, just weeks after having his pump-action shotgun and certificate returned by police.

In March 2020 Robert Needham, 42, killed his partner Kelly Fitzgibbons, 40, and two daughters Ava and Lexi Needham, four and two, before turning the gun on himself at their home in Woodmancote.

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year.

Alternatively, you can find more information on the Samaritans website here.

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