Sussex

Mary Shipstone: Funeral of girl shot by father in Northiam

Mary Shipstone Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Mary Shipstone was described by her mother as a "caring and lively" girl who had "so much promise"

The funeral of a seven-year-old girl who was shot by her father in a village in Sussex has taken place.

Mary Shipstone was shot twice in the head outside her home in Northiam on 11 September as she returned home from school with her mother.

Her father, Yasser Alromisse, killed himself after the shooting. Mary died in hospital the following day.

Her mother Lyndsey Shipstone described her as a "fun, bright and inquisitive little girl".

The private service in St Mary's Church was followed by a private committal service in Beckley churchyard.

Mary's mother, Lyndsey Shipstone said: "It has been a month since our beautiful Mary was taken from us but the pain is still as fresh now as it was then.

"Mary was such a fun, bright, inquisitive little girl.

"Losing her so violently has left us in a state of trauma and grief. Her absence feels like a void that cannot be overcome.

"I will never forgot the kindness we have been shown over the last few weeks."

The Reverend Rod White, who has been helping to care for Ms Shipstone since the shooting, said: "The community have really come together in their love and support of the family.

'Bright-eyed energy'

"I know there have been very good neighbours who have been there with them throughout this difficult time."


At the scene

By Juliette Parkin, BBC South East Today reporter

Members of Mary's family followed her small coffin, covered in white, into St Mary's Church before the funeral started at 11:00 BST.

During the service, which was relayed by speaker to people outside the church, Reverend Rod White, spoke of Mary's "strong-willed streak" and "her bright-eyed energy".

He seemed to struggle at times as as he led tributes to the seven-year-old who was baptised at the church last December.

As well as the celebration of the life of a "caring and lively" little girl, there's a real sense of deep sadness here today over the fact that it was tragically cut short.


Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Lyndsey Shipstone said she had never spent any time apart from her seven-year-old daughter Mary
Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Mary died in King's College Hospital in south London where she was flown to after the shooting

Speaking after the shooting, Ms Shipstone said the family had moved to Northiam from a women's refuge in Camber Sands, after she separated from her violent husband.

Ms Shipstone said: "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."

A fund to help children affected by trauma has been set up in memory of Mary.

Money from the fund will support Rye-based charity The Music Well, which offers music therapy to children.

Ms Shipstone said: "She will never leave our thoughts but at the moment every day is a struggle for us as we try to come to terms with our grief."

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Media captionMary Shipstone's coffin being carried at her funeral

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