Ann Maguire: Pupil, 15, 'held grudge' against teacher stabbed to death at Leeds school after she handed him a detention

Much-loved teacher was just months away from retiring

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The Independent Online

The school where respected teacher Ann Maguire was stabbed to death had no problems with weapons and received no prior indication of a potential attack, officials and police said today.

The 15-year-old arrested for her murder is due to be questioned later today as specially trained officers spoke with students who had witnessed the horrific attack in the classroom, West Yorkshire police said yesterday. They said the sensitive process of questioning the teenager was likely to take some time.

Results from the post-mortem inquiry revealed that Mrs Maguire had died from multiple stab wounds. Fellow pupils at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds suggested the 15-year-old suspect had developed a dislike of Mrs Maguire which may have been deepened in recent days after she issued him with a detention.

The schoolboy’s Facebook page featured a pen and ink image of a grim reaper along with a photograph of himself wearing a t-shirt with the slogan Achievement Hunter.


Mrs Maguire's death, after more than 40 years' teaching at the school, is thought to be the first time a teacher has been stabbed to death in a British classroom, and the first killing of a teacher in a school since the 1996 Dunblane massacre.

The 61-year-old – described as an “amazing, inspirational” teacher by education officials – had gone down to four days a week and was due to retire in September.

As the inquiry continued, police said that a specialist officer who worked on pupil’s safety had been at another school at the time of the attack. Officials said that it was an isolated incident but said they would learn lessons from what had happened.

leeds2.jpg Chief Inspector Nik Adams, who leads neighbourhood policing in the area, said: “This is an horrific incident. It's unprecedented nationally but very much in this local community it's something which has caused a great deal of shock and distress, as you can imagine.

"This is very much an isolated incident. This is not part of a wider problem that exists locally here."

A nun comforts students outside Corpus Christi Catholic College in Neville Road, Leeds, where a female teacher was fatally stabbed

The chairman of governors at the school said there had been a “calm and reverent” atmosphere at the school, which reopened today. A service was held in the neighbouring church with prayers said for the teacher.

Many described her as “the school’s mother” who had joined the college straight after university and devoted her life to the welfare of pupils staying in touch with many long after they had left.

LeedsFORwebmap.jpg Police said Mrs Maguire’s attacker was overpowered by teachers and arrested at the scene. Pupils described hearing screams reverberating around the building when attack happened in the third period shattering the routine of the school day at around 11.45.

Those attending the lesson were preparing for their Spanish GCSE in three weeks. The attacker is said to have left the classroom after asking to do some printing. Returning a few minutes later he allegedly produced a knife lunging at the teacher in front of the horrified class.