United Kingdom

Emma Pattison’s husband owned gun discovered at scene of triple-death tragedy

George Pattison, 39, was found dead with his wife Emma Pattison, 45, and their daughter Lettie at their home in the grounds of Epsom College in Surrey on Sunday, February 5.

It was confirmed today that (February 7) officers have launched a homicide investigation into their deaths, which is possibly a murder-suicide.

It has been revealed that Mr Pattison had been in contact with Surrey Police just days before the killings to change his address on his a gun licence after the family moved to the Epsom College site from Caterham.

Mrs Pattison became Epsom College’s first female head in September 2022 after six years as headteacher of Croydon High School in south London.

Surrey Police has since referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) because of his recent contact with the force. 

The Times reported that Mrs Pattison had contacted a close relative with concerns about her husband in the hours before the killings.

The BBC said that this included “a distressed call to a family member some time late on Saturday evening”.

When paramedics arrived at the house, they found all three members of the family dead.

Mr Pattison had held a gun licence for a number of years, and it was up for renewal early last year, according to the Times.

The newspaper said he had not been reported to Surrey Police before, but in 2016 had contacted them to allege that his wife had hit him, before withdrawing the claim.

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

A source told the Telegraph that a member of school staff called emergency services on Sunday after hearing gunshots.

A statement from Surrey Police 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.

“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.”

Changes were made to gun licencing 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.

While 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


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