Village is still in mourning for Mary Shipstone


Northiam is still in shock following the fatal shooting of Mary Shipstone, aged seven.

Beckley Primary pupil Mary was shot in the head by her father Yasser Alromisse as she returned home from school on Thursday September 11.

Alromisse’s body was found in a car nearby. It is believed he killed himself.

Church members, groups in the village and the parish council have rallied round in support of the family and spoken of the effect it has had on the community.

Geoff Brown, from St Mary’s Church Deanery Synod, and editor of the Northiam parish magazine, said: “The tragic loss of Mary in such a senseless manner has left the whole village in a state of shock.

“We will remember her as a lively, happy and enthusiastic young lady with a radiant smile and her whole life before her.

“Our prayers, sympathy and love go out to Lyndsey and Stephen.”

Northiam Primary School head Matthew Montebello said: “I would like to join with the wider community in offering our deepest sympathy to the family of Mary whose life ended so tragically last week.

“The school has been proactive in offering support to Northiam children and their families.

“Pupils who shared time with Mary, both in and out of school, have been given the opportunity to talk about their grief with a variety of qualified professionals.

“Both the school and its wider community remain shocked by the events surrounding Mary’s devastating death.”

Mervyn Hayes, chairman of Northiam Conservation Society told how he let Mary take his place in planting a flower at a ceremony in the village to commemorate the start of World War One.

He said: “I was to have planted a white agapanthus flower commemorating the life of John Parris, who died in May 1917, and whose parents lived at Rose Cottage.

“However, on the day of the service Mary’s mother asked me if Mary could plant a flower so I let her take my place.

“She was a lively little girl and our hearts go out to her family.”

Northiam Rector, Reverend Rod White said: “Mary brought a joy to so many in the life of our church as well as to the community she lived in.