Ann Maguire murder: Teenager who killed teacher loses challenge to jail term

Cornick's lack of remorse and the level of violence he used meant his minimum sentence was not reduced from 20 years

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The Independent Online

The teenager who murdered teacher Ann Maguire has lost an appeal to see his 20-year minimum term reduced.

Will Cornick, now 16, was 15-years-old when he stood behind Mrs Maguire, 61, and stabbed her seven times as she taught a Spanish class at Corpus Christi Catholic College, Leeds, in April last year.

Mrs Maguire was a well-loved staff member at the school, where she taught for more than 40 years. She was due to retire that September.

Before the attack, Cornick boasted to his friends that he was planning to murder Mrs Maguire.

Cornick winked at another boy before he launched into a savage assault in front of a terrified class full of pupils, the Leeds Crown Court heard during his trial.

The teenager left Mrs Maguire with stab wounds so severe the paramedic who attended the scene said they were the worst she had ever seen.

After the incident, Cornick told psychiatrists that he “couldn't give a s***” and added: “Everything I've done is fine and dandy.”

The judge considering Cornick’s case at Leeds Crown Court heard that the teenager, who pleaded guilty to murder, had never shown any remorse and had since spoken of his pride in what he had done.

Last November, Cornick was told he must serve at least 20 years before he is eligible to seek parole.

However, Mr Justice Coulson told Cornick at Leeds Crown Court: “It's quite possible that day may never come.“

Today, Richard Wright QC, who was representing Cornick, told the hearing - which the teenager did not attend - that it was a complicated sentencing exercise and an exceptional case.

He added that the minimum term had to be a significant one, but 20 years was "simply too long" bearing in mind Cornick's youth, plea and lack of previous convictions.

But a panel of three judges told the hearing that they had rejected Cornick’s appeal against the minimum term. They stated that the sentencing judge had come to "entirely the right decision" and would not overturn the punishment based on the "disturbing" facts of the case.

Mrs Maguire's widower, Don, who was in court today with other members of the family, earlier described the killing as a "monumental act of cowardice and evil". The family said today that they would not be making any statement on the decision to reject the appeal.

In his ruling, Lord Thomas said there could be no doubt of the devastation which the murder had caused Mrs Maguire's family, and said there had been extensive premeditation and other aggravating features included the level of violence used, Mrs Maguire's suffering and the total lack of remorse.