Sussex

Northiam's Mary Shipstone shot dead by dad in 'act of revenge'

Mary Shipstone Image copyright Lyndsey Shipstone
Image caption Lyndsey Shipstone said her daughter Mary was still breathing after the attack, but her jaw was clenched

The mother of a girl shot twice in the head by her father on the doorstep of a Sussex safe house told an inquest the killing was an "act of revenge".

Seven-year-old Mary Shipstone was attacked in the village of Northiam. She died the next day.

Her mother, Lyndsey Shipstone said of her estranged husband Yasser Alromisse: "I was the one he hated the most."

The coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing for Mary and suicide for Alromisse who shot himself.

The joint Hastings inquest followed the shooting of both Mary and her 46-year-old father, on 11 September last year.

Ms Shipstone said: "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."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The inquest heard Ms Shipstone and her daughter were in a safe house, but Alromisse managed to find them

Ms Shipstone had moved to Northiam with her daughter following a separation from her husband after being the victim of domestic violence.

The attack happened as Mary returned home from school with her mother to Spring Hill, a safe house where the pair had lived for the past year.

Ms Shipstone told the court: "I was putting my key in the door, and I spoke to Mary, saying she'd like what I had done to her room, and that's the last thing I said to her.

"There was a terrific sound behind me like someone had burst a balloon.

"I turned around and the first thing I saw was Mary on the ground - her legs were crumpled behind her."

She added: "I started screaming she'd been shot. She was breathing. Her jaw was clenched."

'Hidden in car'

The inquest heard how Alromisse had hired private detective Paul Parton in a bid to find the woman he was still legally married to, purporting to be a friend of hers.

Mr Parton was unable to find Ms Shipstone and later withdrew his services, concerned that Alromisse's motive was to take away the child.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said it was not clear how Alromisse found the address, but he described the murder as a "thoroughly despicable act of violence".

The coroner also said the shooting was not in any way spontaneous, but premeditated over a long period of time.

Alromisse was hidden in the back of a silver Toyota on the drive by the house when he fired the shots.

The car windows were tinted and he had created a blind from bin bags to shield himself.

Later, his body was found in a pool of blood in the back of the car, where he had shot himself in the head.

Image caption Alromisse was hidden in the back of the car when he fired the shots

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites