Katie Rough: Teenage girl denies murdering seven-year-old

15-year-old in Leeds Crown Court after youngster found with severe lacerations to neck and chest on a playing field in York last month

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The Independent Online

A teenager has denied murdering seven-year-old Katie Rough.

The youngster was found with severe lacerations to her neck and chest on a playing field in York last month and died later in hospital.

After Katie was found, a 15-year-old girl was arrested and charged with murder and possession of an offensive weapon, a knife.

She appeared at Leeds Crown Court via video-link on Thursday, sitting next to her solicitor, who confirmed she had written “not guilty” on the indictment in front of her.

The teenager, who cannot be named, did not speak during the 20-minute hearing and only nodded when she was asked by Judge Peter Collier QC if she understood the proceedings.

Police search a path leading to the field where the body of seven-year-old Katie Rough was found in the Woodthorpe area of York (Danny Lawson/PA)

A dozen family members were in court.

Judge Collier said the teenager's trial will begin on 3 July. There will be two further hearings before then.

Katie Rough's coffin leaves York Minster following her funeral service on Monday (John Giles/PA)

He said she will remain in “local authority accommodation” until the trial.

On Monday, hundreds of mourners donned rainbow-coloured accessories to celebrate Katie's life at her funeral in York Minster.