Friday 2 December 2016

Schoolboy (14) questioned over teacher classroom stabbing after 'mobile phone dispute'

Dave Higgens

Published 12/06/2015 | 12:26

Police outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Police outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Police vehicles outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
A sign outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Police outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
A police car outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Dixons Kings Academy in Yorkshire

A 14-year-old schoolboy is being questioned by police for a second day over the stabbing of a teacher who was attacked in his classroom, apparently following a dispute over a mobile phone.

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Supply teacher Vincent Uzomah, 50, was stabbed in the stomach as he began a science lesson at Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford yesterday morning. The attack was witnessed by a number of his pupils.

The teacher, who had been working at the school for a few weeks, was taken to hospital and was last night said to be in a stable, non-life threatening condition with his family by his bedside.

The attack led to a six-hour hunt for a 14-year-old boy who was later arrested in the city centre on suspicion of attempted murder.

A sign outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
A sign outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
Police outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
A police car outside Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

The youngster fled the scene straight after the attack, scaling a perimeter fence.

According to The Sun, the teenager then boasted on Facebook: "The mother****** getin funny so I stick the blade straight in his tummy."

Video footage purporting to show the boy being arrested has been posted online. A number of police officers are seen to handcuff the suspect and lead him away as members of the public look on.

It is understood Mr Uzomah was stabbed with a kitchen knife smuggled in to the school.

One teenager who said he witnessed the incident told ITV News: "It just happened in seconds. We didn't realise that was going to happen.

"We were just sitting down and a student just had his phone out. And that's it. It was just about a phone. And the teacher comes in and 'you just took a phone call'. And basically he said no. And he just pulled something out of his pocket and just stabbed him and just ran off."

Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson, of West Yorkshire Police, said specially trained staff were talking to the children who "potentially witnessed something horrendous".

Read more: Student (14) arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after stabbing teacher

Parents who gathered outside the school after hearing the news said the school had a good reputation for discipline but were concerned about the effects on their children.

Police were alerted by paramedics who were called to the school at around 8.55am.

Mr Atkinson said: "There were a number of pupils who witnessed this incident, which took place in a classroom, and they are currently liaising with our specially trained officers who are obviously supporting them at this difficult time.

"This is believed to be an isolated incident and the police are continuing inquiries to establish the facts.

"I would like to reassure residents and staff that all necessary resources are being deployed to investigate this ongoing and clearly serious incident."

Mr Atkinson added: "We're speaking with the pupils there to see what they actually saw.

"We've got a welfare issue to make sure we manage as well since they potentially witnessed something horrendous."

Speaking outside the school gates yesterday, the executive principal of the Dixons Academy group in Bradford, Nick Weller, said: "It happened right at the beginning of the school day and there were some students who witnessed it. A few students witnessed it - in a classroom.

"Those students have been interviewed by the police. Obviously, it's a very shocking thing for them to see. The general atmosphere in the school is very calm, quite orderly, we're trying to keep to normal routines as much as possible."

Mr Weller said there was nothing in school that suggested the attack was going to be launched.

He confirmed the suspect had been at the school for a year.

Earlier, parent Shakeel Ahmed, 39, said he got a text from his 14-year-old son saying there had been a stabbing.

"My son texted my wife and said 'child stabbed teacher' - that's it," said Mr Ahmed. "He then sent a text to say everybody's all right."

Mr Ahmed said: "I came to see my son and see if he's all right but the police wouldn't let me in. The teachers said he's OK."

He said the school was "good" and did not have discipline problems.

The school is about 15 miles away from Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, where veteran teacher Ann Maguire was stabbed to death by a student just over a year ago.

Dixons Kings Academy - then called the Kings Science Academy - started in 2011 as one of the first free schools in England and was visited by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2012, but it was beset by financial controversy and the former head and other staff members were arrested. Their prosecution is ongoing.

The Dixons Academy Trust, which runs seven other schools in Bradford, took over the school in January.

A spokesman for the Seven Casting agency said Mr Uzomah was an extra on their books and had worked on soaps including Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

He said: "Vincent is a very nice, reliable, bubbly guy. He's genuine and easy to get on with.

"He's worked on a few of the northern soaps and has done things in Emmerdale and Coronation Street.

"He's always very reliable and courteous."

The spokesman said staff at the agency were shocked when they heard about the stabbing.

"It was a shock when we first heard about it in the news and then to find out it was Vincent was even more shocking. It's absolutely crazy but thankfully it sounds like he is going to be OK," he said.

Pupils said Mr Uzomah is a kind man and some pupils took advantage of his good nature.

Tauseef Hussain, 12, said: "He was my teacher for science on a Monday. He was a good teacher. He was kind. He wasn't one of the strict ones. Because he was so kind, some of the kids took it too far.

"Some of the kids used to misbehave because he was kind, taking advantage of that." Tauseef said his classmates found the incident "very shocking".

His father, Jamil Hussain, said: "Everybody liked him. Good teachers will change your life."

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