Epsom College headteacher’s husband died from ‘shotgun wound on school grounds’

Handout photo dated 09/01/22 of Epsom College head Emma Pattison, 45, her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, seven. The family were found in the grounds of the school in the early hours of Sunday morning by the South East Coast Ambulance Service. Issue date: Monday February 6, 2023.
Epsom College head Emma Pattison, 45, her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, seven Credit: Handout

The husband of Epsom College headteacher Emma Pattison died of a “shotgun wound to the head” on school grounds, the opening of his inquest has been told. George Pattison, 39, is believed to have murdered Mrs Pattison, 45, and their seven-year-old daughter Lettie before killing himself on February 5. The three were found dead at their home within the grounds of the private school in Surrey after Mrs Pattison 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.” Mr Pattison’s post-mortem examination was done by Dr Ashley Fegan-Earle at East Surrey Hospital three days after the shooting, coroner’s officer Kelly Truss told Surrey Coroner’s Court.

College headteacher Emma Pattison, 45 and her seven-year-old daughter Lettie Credit: PA

The cause of death was given as a “shotgun wound to the head”, she said. Following their deaths, Mrs Pattison and Lettie’s loved ones said: “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 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.”

A flag is flown at half-mast at Epsom College in Surrey Credit: PA

The family’s statement also thanked well-wishers for their messages of support. A firearm legally registered to Mr Pattison, 39, was found at the scene, Surrey Police said. Live ammunition is not kept at the school rifle range, it has been reported. Mr Wickens fixed a date for a pre-inquest review hearing on June 27.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...