Ann Maguire stabbing: Teenage boy admits responsibility for killing teacher

The boy appeared in court charged with murdering the teacher at school

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The Independent Online

A teenage boy has admitted stabbing Ann Maguire to death in a classroom in Leeds.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of murdering the 61-year-old teacher at Corpus Christi Catholic College in April.

He spoke only twice while appearing via video link at Leeds Crown Court on Friday.

Although a plea was not entered, his lawyer, Richard Wright QC, said he “has accepted responsibility for the unlawful killing of the deceased".

He added: “The issue in the case will be whether or not a partial defence is available to him.”

The admission does not amount to a guilty plea because diminished responsibility would mean that the crime committed was manslaughter, rather than murder.

The court heard that psychiatric reports would be prepared before the trial, scheduled in November.

The teenager, wearing an orange t-shirt and blue trousers, appeared on two video screens in the packed courtroom.

He spoke to confirm his name and confirm he understood what was happing during the 10 minute hearing.

The teenager was remanded in custody until the next hearing on 26 September.

Members of Mrs Maguire's family watched the proceedings from the public gallery.

The judge and lawyers for the prosecution asked the public to be extremely careful about using social media to discuss the case, stressing there could be heavy penalties for naming the defendant or giving other details before the trial.

Video: Headteacher of Corpus Christi remembers Ann Maguire

Mrs Maguire's death was 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.

She started at Corpus Christi as a student teacher and was planning to retire after more than 40 years of service.

The teacher was head of Year 11 at the school for more than 10 years and lived in the Moortown area of Leeds with her husband, Don.

Additional reporting by PA