'Smashing lass' stabbed to death in class: Malcolm Pithers reports on the events leading up to a knife attack at Hall Garth comprehensive
Tuesday 29 March 1994
A man had walked into Hall Garth comprehensive, Middlesbrough, shortly after 9.45am yesterday wearing a balaclava and combat clothes. He was carrying two knives and what appeared to be a gun.
He made his way unchecked up two flights of stairs and burst into a maths class, where he ordered the teacher out at gunpoint and, with children screaming around him, lunged at Nikki Conroy, stabbing her through the chest. She died instantly. Two 13-year-olds, Emma Winter and Michelle Reeve, were slashed. Both were said later to be out of danger.
The man was overpowered by two teachers who ran into the classroom, alerted by the relief teacher in charge of the maths class.
One of them, Christopher Bielby, 46, deputy head teacher, said last night that when they arrived outside the classroom they noticed blood staining the white blouses of some of the girls.
'We knew then we had to act immediately before even worse things happened. We charged in. As we rushed towards him he reached across to his bag to get the pistol. Dave Eland (the teacher with him) grabbed his hand and pushed it away from the children. We shouted at the children to get out.
'After that we wrestled him to the ground and got the pistol off him . . . . We just kept sitting on him, keeping him pinned to the floor, until the police arrived.'
The school will be closed until tomorrow so that children can receive counselling. A 13-year-old boy was taken to Middlesbrough General Hospital suffering from deep shock.
Nikki Conroy was said by her headmaster, Peter Smith, to be a 'smashing lass,' who had led a very full life in the school. Last night her parents, Peter and Diane Conroy, were being comforted by friends and their 17-year-old son, John.
Mr Conroy, a British Telecom engineer, said Nikki was a 'happy young girl' who had been doing well at school. 'I do not hold the school responsible for this tragic event. How can any school be prepared for anything such as this?'
Minutes of terror, page 3
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
£35000 - £45000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Wes...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Office and HR Administrat...
£25000 - £26500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The On-Site division of the UK'...