An enraged man tracked down his 7-year-old daughter, Mary Shipstone, and shot her before turning the gun on himself.
Mary’s parents, Lyndsey Shipstone and Yasser Alromisse, met in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, where she was a practicing Catholic until he convinced her to become a devout Muslim.
They conceived a daughter, whom they named Yasmin Miriam in September 2001, but her little life came to an end eight months later.
The couple married in 2005 and had Mary later in 2006.
By then, the Daily Mail reported neighbors and social services intervened to keep an extremely violent Alromisse from spending any unsupervised time with Mary.
The couple separated but reconciled briefly in 2010 after Shipstone feared her mosque would disown her otherwise but Alromisse’s violent tendencies resurfaced.
Shipstone reported Alromisse once locked her and their daughter in the bathroom as punishment.
When the couple finally divorced and Shipstone denounced Islam, Alromisse was overwhelmed with fury.
Shipstone took her daughter and the pair changed their names.
They moved to a new town, Mary started a new school and was doing well.
“She was the happiest she had been for a long time,” Shipstone shared. “She was learning the violin and learning to dance and doing all the normal things.
“She was a happy girl and she was developing as a person in her own right, which is what every child deserves.”
On September 11, 2014, Mary made her way home from school and was only days from celebrating her eighth birthday.
She was shot by her father, who hid behind a silver Toyota parked behind trash cans. When Mary’s mother had her back turned to open the front door, he shot the girl then turned the gun on himself and was discovered in a pool of blood in the backseat of the vehicle.
Mary was rushed to a hospital but passed away from the injuries at King’s College Hospital.
Investigators realized Shipstone’s lawyer sent divorce papers with her address on it to Alromisse, revealing their location. Further probing discovered her previous addresses and identity were given to Alromisse by a bank and the Child Support Agency as well.
Shipstone reported feelings of being “let down and disappointed” by the lack of police action when her address was shared with her estranged husband.
She also spoke against the naysayers who believed he was not a danger to herself or their daughter.
“Because it took so long, people underestimated the seriousness,” she said. “Actually there is a lot of danger – we had the briefest window and then Mary was killed and really nothing was OK…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.”
Mary’s murder was labeled a “spite killing,” meant to rob Shipstone of her daughter since Alromisse was losing the custody battle.
The criminal investigation found Alromisse used “a variety of covert and illicit means” to track the Shipstones down. The report noted: “There is no evidence that any professional was aware of this activity, nor did he make any threat to harm [Mary] or give any indication that he might do so.
“The review has concluded that no professional working with the family could have prevented him acting as he did.”
An inquest last September left coroner Alan Craze stating the murder was a “thoroughly despicable act of violence” that had been “pre-meditated over a long period of time.”
A spokesman for the East Sussex Local Safeguarding Children Board stated: “After a thorough independent review, the LSCB concluded, as did the investigating police officers…professionals did respond diligently to reports of domestic violence, which were all taken seriously and responded to appropriately.
“As is always the case, the review has, however, found some areas where improvements could be made, particularly around how information is shared when families move areas, and we are working with all agencies involved to implement a small number of recommendations to improve practice.”
Shipstone’s last words to her daughter, who died clutching her violin to her chest, were, “You’ll like what I’ve done to your room.”
The brokenhearted woman needs as many prayers as possible to recover from the death of her daughter at the hands of her estranged husband. Please pray for Mary, for Lindsey and for other victims of violence and abuse.
By Kenya Sinclair