The husband of Epsom College’s headmistress who is believed to have killed his wife and seven-year-old daughter died from a shotgun wound to the head, an inquest has heard.
George Pattison, a 39-year-old chartered accountant, is suspected to have killed his wife Emma, 45, and their daughter, Lettie, before turning the weapon on himself on February 5.
The three were found dead at the headmistress’s home in the grounds of the £42,000-a year boarding school in Surrey.
Shortly before she was killed, it is believed she made a distressed phone call to her younger sister, Deborah, a solicitor, with concerns about her husband.
Emergency services had found Mr Pattison’s legally-owned shotgun at the scene.
Three days before the tragedy, Mr Pattison had been in contact with Surrey Police about his gun licence to notify them of a previous change in address.
Dr Ashley Fegan-Earl, a forensic pathologist, recorded the death of Mr Pattison at East Surrey Hospital as a “shotgun wound to the head,” the coroner’s court in Woking heard on Tuesday.
The inquest heard that Jamaican-born Mr Pattison was identified by his teeth after his death.
A pre-inquest review will be held on June 27.
Simon Wickens, the coroner, gave a message of condolence to Mr Pattison’s sister, Rachel, who was described as the inquest’s main point of contact.
He said: “The unnatural nature of death means an inquest is required.
“I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to not only Rachel but to George’s wider family at this very difficult time.”
Kelly Truss, the coroner’s officer, said both a toxicology and histology report had been carried out and he was identified “by way of odontology”.
Hearings for Mrs Pattison and her daughter will be opened separately on another date.
Two weeks ago, Epsom College appointed a new headteacher who vowed to honour the legacy of Mrs Pattison following her suspected murder.
Sir Anthony Seldon, 69, will take over on March 1 and plans to stay in post for the 2023-24 academic year, with a new headteacher taking over in September 2024.
The former headmaster of Brighton College in East Sussex and Wellington College in Berkshire said: “I am committed to ensuring that Emma’s legacy is honoured and that Epsom College moves forward in the manner she intended.
“This is what Emma would have wanted for all the pupils and staff she had worked with, supported, and for whom she had such high hopes.”