Sussex

Shot girl Mary Shipstone's safe house revealed by solicitor error

Mary Shipstone Image copyright Shipstone Family
Image caption The review concluded no-one could have predicted or prevented the killing of Mary Shipstone

The address of a girl fatally shot on her doorstep by her estranged father was accidentally sent to him by her mother's solicitor, it has emerged.

Mary Shipstone, aged seven, was shot twice as she returned to the safe house in East Sussex in 2014 with her mother.

Yasser Alromisse shot her in the head and then turned the gun on himself.

Mary's mother told police her solicitor had inadvertently sent her address to him in legal papers, a serious case review said.

Lyndsey Shipstone told BBC South East: "He shot her the second time so I would see him do it.

"And through not murdering me, because he had the opportunity... I was going to be the one who was going to have to live with what he did."

Mary died later in hospital.

'Covert methods'

The review, which was published in March but not publicised, also revealed there was evidence or strong suspicion that details of her previous addresses or identity were given to Alromisse by other organisations including a bank and the Child Support Agency.

But the review concluded no-one could have predicted or prevented the killing of the young girl, referred to as Child P, in Northiam.

And it said there was no evidence Alromisse found the pair through inadvertent disclosures of information.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The body of Yasser Alromisse was found in a car at the scene of the shooting in Northiam

The report said: "It has not been possible to establish exactly when and how he found out where Child P was living."

A spokesman for the East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children board (LSCB) said: "The father planned and carried out the killing in a secretive way, using the internet and a range of covert methods to trace the family and obtain the means to carry out the murder.

"There is no evidence that any professional involved with the family prior to these tragic events was aware of this activity.

"Based on the review, the LSCB concludes that no professional could have prevented him doing what he did."

He said the LSCB found professionals responded diligently to reports of domestic violence, which were taken seriously and responded to appropriately, but also found areas for improvement.

The report made a series of recommendations including seeking assurances from agencies that systems were in place for dealing with information about vulnerable people that should not be revealed.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mary Shipstone's mother Lyndsey had told police her solicitor had inadvertently revealed the safe house address

The report said the attack was "calculated to deprive the mother of her child while at the same time leaving her with a permanent memory of her death".

It also said Ms Shipstone believed her estranged husband killed their daughter because he feared being denied contact after a new round of court hearings.

At an inquest last year, East Sussex coroner Alan Craze said the act of violence had been "premeditated over a long period of time".

'No significant failings'

When officials published the report in March, they did not issue further statements on it.

The LSCB said it was required to publish the report and "that is what we have done".

In a statement, it said: "We would only consider more proactive publicity, and we have done this previously, if we felt there was a significant issue of public interest that we wanted to make.

"In this case, we have concluded professionals could not have prevented this tragic outcome, and the recommendations we have made are simply for improving professional process rather than addressing any significant failing that the public needs to be aware of."

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