The husband of Epsom College’s headteacher died from a “shotgun wound to the head”, the opening of the inquest has been told.

It is believed George Pattison, 39, murdered his wife, Emma Pattison, 45, and their seven-year-old daughter Lettie, before he took his own life on 5 February.

The family were discovered at their home within the grounds of Epsom College after Mrs Pattison had made a distressed call to her sister.

Opening the inquest into Mr Pattison’s death on Tuesday, coroner Simon Wickens said: “I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to George’s wider family at this difficult time.”

The court was then told by coroner’s officer Kelly Truss that Mr Pattison’s post-mortem was carried out three days after the shooting, giving the cause of death as a “shotgun wound to the head”.

Read more: Who was Emma Pattison?

Mrs Pattison’s family have previously said in a statement: “To see the esteem in which Emma is held by all who knew her is an enormous comfort.

“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.”

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A gun legally registered to Mr Pattinson was found at the scene, police said, with reports suggesting that live ammunition was not kept at the school’s nearby rifle range.

Mr Wickens set a date of 27 June for the pre-inquest review.

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