Seven-year-old girl shot dead by her estranged father, inquest hears

The man then turned the gun on himself

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The Independent Online

A seven-year-old girl was shot in the head on the doorstep of her home by her estranged father, before he turned the gun on himself, an inquest has heard.

Mary Shipstone was gunned down as she stood next to her mother, clutching a new violin, after she returned from school on 11 September last year, Hastings Coroner’s Court was told.

Her father, Yasser Alromisse, 46, was hidden in the rear of a silver Toyota on the drive by the house, in Northiam, near Rye, East Sussex, when he fired the shots.

The car windows were tinted and he had created a blind from bin bags to shield himself, the hearing was told.His body was later found in a pool of blood in the rear of the car, where he had shot himself in the head.

The girl, also known as Maryam Alromisse, was taken to King’s College Hospital, London, but died of her injuries.

Lyndsey Shipstone, Mary’s mother, said: “I started screaming she’d been shot. She was breathing. Her jaw was clenched.”

Of her former partner, Ms Shipstone said: “I was the one he hated the most. Why did he kill Mary? I don’t think I will ever really know that. He wanted to kill himself and, for some reason, he thought she shouldn’t live without him.

“It was an act of revenge really. It has got to be. If he really loved her, he never would have murdered her.”

The shooting took place at Spring Hill, a safe house where they had lived for the past year. She had not wanted to be traced by Alromisse after the collapse of the marriage she said was abusive.

The court heard how Alromisse had hired private detective Paul Parton, purporting to be a friend of his ex-wife, in May 2014 to try to establish the location of Ms Shipstone, to whom he was still married. Mr Parton was unable to locate her and withdrew his services concerned Alromisse’s motive was to take away the child.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze concluded that Mary had been unlawfully killed, and ruled her father’s death was suicide. He said it was not clear how Alromisse found the address, but described the premeditated murder as a “thoroughly despicable act of violence”.

He added: “It was not in any way spontaneous. It was pre-meditated over a long period of time.”