THE ADDRESS of a girl who was shot dead by her father was accidentally sent to him by her mother’s solicitor.

The seven-year-old and her mother had fled the violent man but he tracked them down and killed his daughter on her doorstep.

He had been sent their new address a few months earlier in divorce papers, a review has found.

Even when the girl's mother warned police about the mistake, they passed it to the wrong neighbourhood police team who did nothing.

Yasser Alromisse gunned down his daughter Mary Shipstone as she walked home in Northiam, near Rye, with her mother Lyndsey Shipstone two years ago yesterday (September 11) before shooting himself in his car.

The family had lived in Brighton before the mother and daughter had moved away for their own protection.

The murder has been labelled a ‘spite killing’ - intended to deprive Ms Shipstone of her daughter during a long-running custody dispute he was losing.

It is not clear whether Alromisse received the documents with their new address as he had moved house by that time.

He continued to use a private investigator after the letter was sent and the review found there was no evidence the letter was how he found her.

But it also found other agencies also mistakenly disclosed other details and said procedures must be tightened.

The review found:

  • Ms Shipstone's and Mary’s previous address had been inadvertantly disclosed to Alromisse by the Child Support Agency; her bank statements by her bank; and change of name by the local authority (East Sussex County Council).
  • A psychological assessment two years before the murder found Alromisse posed no risk to his daughter's safety.
  • Mr Alromisse had entered the UK as an illegal immigrant and gained asylum in 2004 after arguing there was a risk he would be persecuted in his native Egypt for having fought with Islamists in Bosnia and being part of a "radical religious group".
  • Allegations about Alromisse’s violence in a previous relationship were not fully disclosed to a meeting on how to protect Ms Shipstone and Mary, due to national policy on sharing information.
  • Cultural and religious factors may have increased Ms Shipstone's vulnerability, but there was a “reticence” by professionals to explore these.

The case review says that professionals could not have prevented Mary’s death but made numerous recommendations, including improving refuges and keeping better records.

Ms Shipstone told The Argus she “let down and disappointed” by the police taking no action on her new address being disclosed, adding: “I am not sure if it would have ultimately changed the outcome."

Speaking last week approaching the second anniversary of her daughter's death, she criticised some of the support she had received during her five-year court battle with Alromisse over custody of their daughter.

She added: "Because it took so long, people underestimated the seriousness - well it has been four years there is not danger.

"Actually there is a lot of danger - we had the briefest window and then Mary was killed and really nothing was OK.”

Sussex Police's Detective Superintendent Jason Taylor said "human error" meant a call from Ms Shipstone on April 19 had been passed onto the wrong neighbourhood team.

He said the inquest found Alromisse probably tracked her down through other means than the solicitor's letter, adding neither the inquest nor the review made specific recommendations for the force.

Detectives have not been able to find out where Alromisse got his gun.

A East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children's Board spokeswoman said they oversee an action plan to ensure that serious case review recommendations are acted upon.

She added: "Agencies do not wait for publication of a serious case review to progress the actions and all actions are scrutinised by the board.”


AS LYNDSEY Shipstone put the key in the front door she chattered away to her seven-year-old daughter standing behind her.

“You’ll like what I’ve done to your room,” she said as the pair arrived home after school where Mary had her first violin lesson.

Then came a “terrific sound” behind her, like somebody had burst a balloon.

She turned to see Mary on the floor, her legs crumpled behind her and jaw clenched, dying from the shot fired by her father.

He had been spying on the pair in his car parked nearby, where he then shot himself in the head.

For years he had been an aggressive, controlling figure in their lives when they had lived in Brighton. They ran away from him to Spring Hill, a safe house in Northiam, near Rye, where the pair had lived for the past year and battled him in the courts.

Now Mary was beginning to settle into a new school and was “the happiest she had been for a long time”.

“She was learning the violin and learning to dance and doing all the normal things,” Lyndsey told The Argus.

“She was a happy girl and she was developing as a person in her own right, which is what every child deserves.”

Lyndsey met Yasser Alromisse online in 2005 and remembers thinking him intelligent when she met him in person.

Alromisse, from Egypt, had entered the country illegally in the late 1990s and had been granted asylum in 2004.

His application argued there were accusations in his home country that he had been part of a radical religious group, believed to be the Muslim Brotherhood, banned in Egypt at the time, and that he would be persecuted for having fought with Islamists in Bosnia. Later, in the Family Court, he said he had only been an aid worker there.

Both practising Muslims when they met, the couple married one month later and daughter Mary was soon born.

Unknown to Lyndsey, her new husband was alleged to have assaulted a previous partner in the UK several times.

Soon, he started doing the same to her. He was cautioned in May 2008 for hitting her. In July he admitted hitting Mary’s disabled half brother with a belt.

Many more episodes followed, although Lyndsey did not always tell authorities. “It wasn’t right away but it sort of crept in,” she said.

“It was a cycle of abuse. There would be one incident and then we would make up and then it would go round and round like that.”

With their marriage deteriorating, the court battle that would go on for the rest of Mary’s life began in February 2009 when her father applied for a residence order. Concerned by his evidence, the court granted residence to her mother and said his contact with Mary should be in a neutral venue.

The couple reconciled in 2010, with Lyndsey later telling child protection experts she feared isolation from their mosque if they did not. “The mosque made me feel that if I was not married I was completely worthless and needed to work on my marriage,” she said.

“He also tried to use religion to say it was my duty to make him happy. He manipulated my ignorance.”

They moved back in together in 2011 but the violence worsened. At one point Lyndsey locked herself and Mary in the toilet due to his threats.

Experts met to discuss the pair’s safety. They noted that cultural factors added to their risk as they influenced the decision to reconcile. But a review found “no evidence of any attempt” by professionals to fully understand this.

That meeting did not hear about Alromisse’s alleged assaults against a previous partner. In line with national policy, police had not searched other forces’ databases.

Afraid for both her and her daughter, Lyndsey took Mary to Alromisse’s family in Cairo, Egypt, in July 2011.

“His way of dealing with it was to say, go and stay with my family and I will sort it out,” she said. “But when I was there I realised it was never going to happen. His family all had ideas that were quite nefarious. His sister was trying to get Mary an Egyptian passport.”

Social workers helped them come back. They said that at the airport Mary seemed happy and like she “felt she had been on holiday”.

Keen to stay away from Alromisse, mother and daughter then went to live in a women’s refuge in Bexhill.

Lyndsey said: “It was horrendous. You have got a lot of damaged women not getting any support so they turn on each other.

“There was a significant minority taking cannabis so they were extremely paranoid. It created an extremely toxic atmosphere, to the extent that I locked me and my daughter in our rooms and were going out every day and not coming back until bedtime.”

The pair were then rehoused away from Alromisse in East Sussex and Mary started music therapy. Lyndsey got a part-time job but that meant she lost her legal aid.

In 2012, a psychologist commissioned by the Family Court found Alromisse did not pose a risk to Mary as long as the couple remained apart.

“He was able to lie to her and she just bought into it,” Lyndsey recalls, furious. “She was saying I was the one who needed therapy.”

She and Mary moved house again in August 2013 after she flagged up that her address had been disclosed to Alromisse by the courts service and Child Support Agency. Her bank had also sent him her bank statements.

In October of that year, Mary saw her father for the first time in roughly 10 months, in a supervised contact session. It did not go well. He used the sessions to prise information from her.

All the while, he was trying to track them down. They were careful not to let her school publish any pictures of her.

About six months later, Ms Shipstone’s solicitor inadvertently included her new address in divorce papers sent to Alromisse.

It is not clear whether he got them as he had moved house but Ms Shipstone was worried enough to flag it to police. It was passed to the wrong neighbourhood team but nothing was done.

In August that year, he applied for unsupervised contact of his daughter, which Lyndsey opposed on grounds it had a harmful effect.

About one month later, he shot Mary dead on her doorstep in Northiam.

Lyndsey said: “When I last saw him at court I thought he might try to take her.

“But it never occurred to me that he would try to murder her.”

Looking back, Lyndsey said the risk to her daughter was persistently under-estimated.

“There were mistakes but it was based on the fact they did not really believe the same duty of care was afforded to me because they did not really believe he was a risk,” she said.

“When I wanted a restraining order my solicitor said I would not get one because he has not done anything.

“I tried to point out if he is going to do something it’s going to be the last time – there’s not going to be a second chance.

“But he was very good at making out that he was the victim. He used to go around telling people I had learning difficulties and things like that.

“I think they should never under-estimate the risk after a separation, especially when there has been a controlling behaviour.”

Speaking of the impact on her daughter’s short life, she added: “Mary was very damaged by the whole experience and she was coming out of it when he killed her.

“She was just making progress because we were leading to a point where she would not have to be made to see him. She was turning a corner.”