The sister of the Epsom College headteacher who was killed with her seven-year-old daughter by her husband says she still writes letters to her deceased sibling.
Emma Pattison, had only become the first female headteacher of the £42,000-a-year private school five months before her body was found along with husband George, 39, and daughter Lettie, seven, after police were called to their home in the early hours of Febuary 5, 2023.
Mrs Pattison’s sister, Deborah Kirk, said she received a distressed call from the 45-year-old on the night of the tragic incident, asking her to come over to their £1.5million property in Caterham, Surrey, because she had a fight with Mr Pattison.
Mrs Kirk arrived at the house with her husband, to find all three of the people inside shot dead, after Mr Pattison had killed his wife and daughter before turning the gun on himself.
The following day, Mrs Kirk began writing her thoughts and feelings down to help cope with ‘the most inhumane of tragedies’.
Emma Pattison’s sister, Deborah Kirk (right), said she received a distressed call from the 45-year-old on the night of the tragic incident, asking her to come over to their £1.5million property in Caterham, Surrey, because she had a fight with Mr Pattison.
Emma Pattison, 45, was found dead along with her husband George, 39, and seven-year-old daughter Lettie
Surrey Police (pictured at the scene) said it is believed the tragedy is an ‘isolated incident’ and there is ‘no third-party involvement’
She wrote in the Sunday Times: ‘In the fog of severe shock, police, press, news stories, updates, visitors and figuring out what my parents did and didn’t need to know at that point, I think it was a place I could go to be alone with my darkest feelings, a moment when I could listen to myself amid the deafening noise of a household confronting the most inhumane of tragedies.’
Mrs Kirk then began writing poems and songs that she felt ‘her sister was writing with her’, having played and sang songs together as children.
She used the work as a form of therapy, she says, sharing her deepest and most frightening thoughts, whilst also ‘keeping her sister alive’.
Surrey Police confirmed they believe Mr Pattison shot his wife and daughter dead before turning the weapon on himself, and that no third party was involved in the killings.
The killer had been a licenced shotgun holder for many years and officers had called him to check on the storage for his firearm the Thursday before the shooting took place.
In the days following her death, Mrs Kirk went through the ‘gruelling experience’ of clearing out her sister’s things from her house. Whilst doing this, she discovered letters written between Mrs Pattison and her daughter which gave her an intimate understanding of their relationship, as well as songs and books written by the head teacher.
Ten months on from the death of her sister, Mrs Kirk believes she will never run out of words or love for her sister and niece Lettie, aged 7
Ms Pattison appearing in the podcast in December, when she spoke of experiencing some ‘really big changes’ including taking new jobs, moving house and getting a new dog
In 2016, financial records show Mr Pattison, a chartered accountant, was the sole director of management consultancy Tanglewood.
He had recently taken out a £14,076 director’s loan, according to accounts for the year ending October 2021.
Meanwhile, Land Registry documents revealed a mortgage was taken out on the family’s four-bedroom Caterham home in January last year, eight years after they bought it for around £600,000.
In December, Mrs Pattison told a student podcast her move had been ‘a really big change for my family’, adding: ‘I’ve got a new job, my husband got a new job, which wasn’t meant to happen, but did, and my daughter has started a new school.’
Ten months on from the death of her sister, Mrs Kirk believes she will never run out of words or love for her sister and niece.
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