The headteacher of Epsom College died of shotgun wounds to the chest and abdomen, while her seven-year-old daughter was shot in the head, an inquest has been told.

Both Emma Pattison, 45, and her daughter Lettie, seven, are believed to have been murdered by the headteacher’s husband, George Pattison, 39, before he killed himself.

Tests showed that Mrs Pattison also suffered shock and haemorrhage, Surrey Coroner’s Court heard on Thursday morning.

The trio were found dead at their home within the grounds of the private boarding school on 5 February after Mrs Pattison made a distressed call to her sister.

The coroner Simon Wickens expressed his condolences to those who loved or knew Mrs Pattison and Lettie, whose full name was Ellette Francesca.

Handout photo dated 09/01/22 of Epsom College head Emma Pattison, 45, who along with her husband George, 39, and their daughter Lettie, seven, was 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. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE Epsom. Photo credit should read: John Wildgoose/Epsom College/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Emma Pattison, 45, and her daughter Lettie, seven, are believed to have been murdered by the headteacher’s husband George Pattison ( Photo: John Wildgoose/Epsom College Provider: PA)

Post-mortem examinations were carried out by Dr Ashley Fegan-Earl at East Surrey Hospital four days after the shooting, the coroner’s officer Kelly Truss said. Toxicology and histology tests were carried out, while Mrs Pattison and Lettie were identified by their teeth, the court heard.

A pre-inquest review hearing into the deaths has been set for June 27.

A separate inquest opening this week into Mr Pattison’s death found he died of a “shotgun wound to the head”.

Toxicology and histology reports had been carried out and he was identified by his teeth, with a pre-inquest review hearing relating to his case set for June 27 at the same court.

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. PA Photo. See PA story POLICE Epsom. Photo credit should read: John Wildgoose/Epsom College/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
George Pattison is believed to have shot dead his wife, Emma, and daughter, Lettie, before killing himself (Photo: John Wildgoose/Epsom College/PA)

Surrey Police had said that a firearm legally registered to Mr Pattison was found at the scene. Live ammunition is not kept at the school rifle range, it has been reported.

A statement released by Mrs Pattison and Lettie’s family after their deaths said: “To see the esteem in which Emma is held by all who knew her is an enormous comfort.

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“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.”

(With agencies)

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