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Epsom College deaths believed to be murder-suicide

Surrey Police are now treating the deaths at an address within Epsom College in the early hours of Sunday, 5 February as homicide.

The Epsom College headmistress was found dead and family were found dead at their home in the grounds of the school in Surrey on Sunday evening.

George Pattison (39) has killed his wife Emma Pattison (45) and daughter Lettie (7) before killing himself. Pattison had a shotgun licence that he was in contact with police about just last week, Surrey Police said.

A firearm which was found at the scene of three dead bodies and has been taken away as evidence by officers.

Update: The headteacher of Epsom College and her seven-year-old daughter both died from shotgun wounds, an inquest has heard.

It is is believed that Mr Pattison shot his wife and daughter, before turning the gun on himself.

The cause of death will not be determined until post-mortem examinations are done later this week.

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Emma Pattison became Epsom’s first female head of the of the £42,000-a-year five months ago.

An investigation is underway to determine the timeline and circumstances of the incident. So far, police are confident there are no other persons involved and no danger to the public.

Police say they had contact with George on Thursday, 2 February when he notified us of a previous change of address, which is routine. But 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 (IOPC).

The family’s next of kins have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers. They ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.

Emma told sixth form students on the school podcast Epsom Insight: “It has been a really big change for my family. 

“We’ve obviously moved house, we’ve bought a dog, I’ve got a new job, my husband’s got a new job which wasn’t meant to happen but did, and my daughter has started a new school.

“There has been a lot of change for us as a family, but it has been wonderful.”

The “gorgeous” pup, a Labrador called Bella, joined the family days before the episode was recorded.

The deaths have been reported to the coroner for formal identification.

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.

“We are cooperating fully with the IOPC in relation to the referral we have made, and we await the outcome of its assessment of what further action may be required. Until this has been completed, we will be unable to provide further details on a number of matters.”

Inspector Jon Vale, Epsom and Ewell’s Borough Commander, said: “I know this incident has caused upset and sent shockwaves through the local community. Although we are confident that this incident was contained to one address, and there is no risk to the wider public I fully understand the concern this can and has caused members of our communities. Therefore, the public can expect to see a heightened police presence in the local area in the coming days. If you are concerned about anything at all I’d urge you to approach an officer and discuss your concerns with them. They will be ready and happy to help you however they can.

“I would like to send my continued thanks to the school and our public for their understanding while the investigation progresses.”

Mrs Pattison’s husband George was a chartered accountant and director of a management consultancy firm called Tanglewood 2016, according to Companies House.

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