United Kingdom

Epsom College head ‘was arrested after row with husband years before death’

Emma Pattison was briefly questioned by police seven years ago (Picture: BPM Media)

An Epsom College headteacher found dead in a suspected shooting by her husband was briefly arrested after a domestic row with him in 2016.

George Pattison, 39, phoned police alleging his wife Emma Pattison, 45, slapped him around the face just before midnight, according to Sky News.

Two minutes later, Mr Pattison dialled 999 again to ask officers not to come as it was a ‘trivial matter and he had overreacted’, the news channel reported.

Officers visited their home in Caterham, Surrey, regardless and arrested Mrs Pattison on suspicion of common assault.

She was questioned in the early hours before being released free of charge.

Police were told the couple was undergoing counselling to overcome their marital problems.

Among the issues, detectives were told, was Mrs Pattison’s job as deputy headteacher at an independent secondary school in Leatherhead.

The college has temporarily shut down (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

Mrs Pattison was found dead with her husband and their seven-year-old daughter Lettie at their home on the grounds of Epsom College on Sunday.

Police launched a homicide case and believe that Mr Pattison killed them before dying by suicide.

Mrs Pattison is understood to have made a ‘distressed call’ to a relative late Saturday evening – but by the time they arrived, the three family members were dead.

Police confirmed a firearm licensed and registered to Mr Pattison was recovered at the scene.

The force phoned Mr Pattison only days before the deaths as part of a routine licence check.

Police reportedly raised no objection but have since referred the call to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for any potential misconduct.

Emma Pattison, her husband George and their daughter Lettie (Picture: PA)

The force said: ‘An investigation is being carried out to establish the full chronology and circumstances of the incident.

‘At this stage, officers are confident there is no third-party involvement and there is no wider threat or risk to the community.

‘A firearm was found at the scene and has been recovered by officers, however, causes of death will not be confirmed until postmortems have been completed later this week.

‘We can confirm the firearm was licensed and registered to George Pattison.’

Mrs Pattison was the first female headteacher at Epsom College, which will be closed until after the half-term break.

Acting headmaster Paul Williams wrote in a letter to parents and guardians that the school will offer counselling to all pupils and staff.

‘The details that have emerged today are incredibly distressing and we feel it is best to close the College from this evening,’ he said.

‘Now is the time for families to come together and try to process this shocking news.’

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