What lessons can be learned from tragedy?

Mary Shipstone
Mary Shipstone

How Mary Shipstone’s estranged father was able to track down the family to Northiam is almost certainly one of the main issues a serious case review will be examining.

Beckley Primary pupil Mary Shipstone, aged seven was shot twice in the head by her father Yasser Alromisse in front of her house shortly before 4pm on Thursday, September 11, as she walked home from school.

Alromisse opened fire from a car parked on the driveway next to Mary’s home at Spring Hill, in Northiam. He was later found dead at the scene in non-suspicious circumstances.

It is believed the family moved to Northiam from a women’s refuge in Camber Sands after Mary’s mother Lyndsey Shipstone separated from her husband, who rented a three-bedroom semi-detached house in Worthing.

A spokeswoman for East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Board said: “Although no timescale has yet to be set, the board will aim to complete this review within six months. The purpose of a Serious Case Review is to establish whether there are lessons to be learned about the way organisations and professionals involved work together, and whether changes are needed to better safeguard the welfare of children and improve future practice.

According to the NSPCC a serious case review (SCR) takes place after a child dies or is seriously injured. It involves multiple agencies. One of the reasons they are held is if there are serious concerns about how organisations or professionals worked together to safeguard the child.

The final report and the response of the Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) must be published on the LSCB website for a minimum of 12 months and should be available on request.

The NSPCC say this is important for sharing lessons learned from the review.

Mary was described by her mother Lyndsey as a ‘fun, bright and inquisitive little girl’, whose loss had left the family ‘in a state of trauma and grief’.