Sussex

Northiam girl shot in head 'had so much to live for'

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionLyndsey Shipstone said she had never spent any time apart from her seven-year-old daughter Mary

The mother of a "caring and lively" girl shot in the head by her abusive husband has spoken of the horror that destroyed "just an ordinary day".

Seven-year-old Mary Shipstone died of her wounds a day after she was gunned down by her father in Northiam, East Sussex, as she returned from school.

Lyndsey Shipstone told BBC South East Today that the family had moved there from Camber to escape her husband.

"You can't describe the horror that I've felt losing my precious daughter."

She said: "We were very close. We hadn't spent any time apart.... I was always there for her."

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

Mary was shot by her father, Yasser Alromisse, outside her home in Spring Hill at about 16:00 BST on 11 September.

His body was found in a car parked on a driveway next to Mary's home.

A gun was also recovered at the scene.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Mary died in King's College Hospital in south London where she was flown after the shooting

'Screaming for help'

Speaking for the first time since the death of her daughter, Ms Shipstone recalled: "As soon as I put my front door key in there was a terrible bang behind me and I turned round and Mary was on the ground.

"I saw her father with the gun in his hand pointing at Mary's head and he fired it a second time, and then he retreated into the car.

"I just dropped down to Mary and dragged her round the front of the house away from the car.

"I was screaming for help and I was telling the neighbours that he had a gun and Mary had been shot."

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Mary's mother said she was a very promising tennis player and had been very interested in music

Ms Shipstone said when she heard the bang she had at first thought someone had "burst an enormous balloon" behind them.

"I saw immediately that it was her father. I couldn't understand why he was there," she recalled.

'Fun-loving girl'

Ms Shipstone told the BBC there had been no indication that Yasser Alromisse would harm his daughter.

"He just wanted a relationship with her and he wanted to see her," she said.

Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Lyndsey Shipstone said she would remember Mary's 'smiling face'

The family moved to Northiam from a women's refuge in Camber Sands after Ms Shipstone separated from her husband "due to domestic violence".

Mary, who lived with her mother and adult brother, died in King's College Hospital in south London where she was flown after the shooting, with her mother by her side.

"It was a great comfort that I was with her in her final moments," she said.

She said she would remember her as "a fun-loving little girl, who loved life, who had so much to live for".

"She's had her life snatched away from her so cruelly when there was so much promise.

"I'd like people to remember her little smiling face."

A police investigation into the shooting is continuing, and the BBC understands it will look at answering two key questions - how Yasser Alromisse came to acquire a gun and how he was able to discover where his family lived.

Both East Sussex County Council and Sussex Police will be sending information to the Safeguarding Children Board, which will then determine whether there should be a Serious Case Review.

More on this story

Related Internet links

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