Teenager accused of murdering teacher appears at Leeds court

Anne Maguire was five months away from retirement

Tributes to teacher Anne Maguire adorn the school fence at Corpus Christi Catholic College on Neville Road in Leeds, England.  Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Tributes to teacher Anne Maguire adorn the school fence at Corpus Christi Catholic College on Neville Road in Leeds, England. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Thu, May 1, 2014, 12:44

The 15-year-old boy accused of murdering a teacher in Leeds on Monday appeared at Leeds Youth Court today. The teenager cannot be named for legal reasons.

Anne Maguire, a Spanish teacher and mother of two daughters, was months away from retiring after working at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds for more than 40 years when she was stabbed in front of pupils on Monday morning.

Police have confirmed that Mrs Maguire died from multiple stab wounds.

The defendant, whose right arm was in plaster, nodded to his own parents as he walked into court.

He was wearing a navy blue sweatshirt and tracksuit bottoms, and was flanked by three security officers — two men and a woman. He looked around Court 20 at the Youth Court, which was packed with about 35 lawyers, journalists, police officers and family members.

The court clerk asked him if he understood the murder charge and to confirm personal details including his date of birth and address. District Judge Roy Anderson told him he will be remanded in youth detention and will appear at Leeds Crown Court tomorrow morning by video-link.

He said no application for bail was allowed at this hearing.

The teenager spoke four times to say “yes” to questions from the clerk.

Earlier the Maguire family released an emotional tribute to Mrs Maguire describing her as “our shining light”.

In a statement released through West Yorkshire Police, the family said: “Our beautiful Ann, our shining light, she brightened the world for so many of us.”

“A loving wife, the best mother, a treasured sister, a true friend. This horrific happening has robbed us of all of this and so much more. We are devastated. Her selfless, genuine, caring nature will remain with us eternally.”

“We are overwhelmed by the support, sympathy and kind tributes we have received. They have been a source of great comfort at this dark time.”

“We would ask the media to kindly respect the privacy of family and friends in the coming weeks and months. Ann, we will love you always, your loving family.”

The head of the school, Steve Mort, has described his immense pride at leading the students and staff as they tried to cope with the tragedy. He singled out the pupils for praise as he inspected the mass of floral tributes which have accumulated since the tragedy.

Mrs Maguire’s death is 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 went to Corpus Christi as a student teacher and, last year, the school held a celebration of her 40 years’ service. This year, she moved to working four days a week ahead of her planned retirement in five months.

Mrs Maguire, who was head of Year 11 at the school for more than 10 years, lived in the Moortown area of Leeds with her husband, who is believed to be a retired maths teacher and landscape gardener.

PA