Friday 6 December 2019

Boy (15) accused of stabbing teacher a fan of violent videos

Headteacher Steve Moat, the headgirl and headboy (who did not wish to be named) walk to Corpus Christ Catholic Church to lay flowers in honour of teacher Anne Maguire, inset, who was fatally stabbed during lessons.
Headteacher Steve Moat, the headgirl and headboy (who did not wish to be named) walk to Corpus Christ Catholic Church to lay flowers in honour of teacher Anne Maguire, inset, who was fatally stabbed during lessons.
Anne Maguire
A pupil lays flowers outside Corpus Christi Catholic College after teacher Anne Maguire was fatally stabbed in Leeds
A youth leans against the fence surrounding Corpus Christi Catholic College after teacher Anne Maguire was fatally stabbed in Leeds
Former pupil Nichola Davies reacts outside Corpus Christi Catholic College after teacher Anne Maguire was fatally stabbed in Leeds
A school tie hangs from the fence of Corpus Christi Catholic College in tribute to teacher Anne Maguire
A woman and child light a candle in Corpus Christi Catholic Church after teacher Anne Maguire was fatally stabbed
Nuns talk with pupils outside Corpus Christi Catholic College after teacher Anne Maguire was fatally stabbed in Leeds
Pupils stand outside Corpus Christi Catholic College after teacher Anne Maguire was fatally stabbed in Leeds
A photograph of teacher Anne Maguire sits on floral tributes outside Corpus Christi Catholic College
Police officers stand outside Corpus Christi Catholic College after teacher Anne Maguire was fatally stabbed in Leeds

Gordon Rayner, James Edgar and Hayley Dixon

The British government has said it would do everything possible to prevent a repeat of the murder of teacher Ann Maguire, as it emerged that the teenager accused of stabbing her is a fan of a violent video game marketed with the slogan "prepare to die".

A 15-year-old boy was still being held on suspicion of murder last night as police said questioning him "may take some time".

The teenager, described by classmates as a "loner", enjoyed playing Dark Souls 2, a 15-rated "death-laden" fantasy game in which a cursed character uses medieval weapons to kill others.

Police have confirmed that the suspect's online life forms part of their inquiries.

A Downing Street spokesman said that "of course" the UK government would look at any "lessons to learn" from the murder at a school in Leeds.

The boy is known to have become withdrawn after his parents, a civil servant and a human resources director, separated 10 years ago.

RETIRING

He is said to have turned up at school with gin, whiskey and beer in his bag on various occasions. Mrs Maguire (61) was weeks away from retiring when she was killed during a Spanish class on Monday. She would have taught her last lesson in July before retiring in September.

As the debate over classroom safety intensified after Monday's lethal knife incident, the principal of Corpus Christi College, Leeds, said that Mrs Maguire would not have wanted metal detectors installed in schools to scan children for weapons prior to lessons.

Speaking for the first time yesterday, Steve Mort said that his school was a "safe environment" and that the killing – reportedly the first by a pupil in a British classroom in modern times – was "unprecedented" but that pupils should not be required to pass through US-style knife checkpoints.

Mr Mort said the strongly Christian school, which opened as usual yesterday, would not seal itself off from the world as a result of the killing. "We're a very open community and our doors are open to the local community. Ultimately Ann Maguire herself, if she was asked that question, would strongly oppose any suggestion that we should have metal detectors."

As a post-mortem examination confirmed she died from multiple stab wounds, it emerged that Mrs Maguire raised her two nephews alongside her own two daughters when her sister died aged 35. Mrs Maguire, whose daughters were four and two when her sister Eileen passed away in 1985, did not hesitate to give a home to her nephews, Daniel and Andrew Connor, who were aged nine and five.

Margaret Freeman, who taught alongside Mrs Maguire for 25 years, said: "She was a brilliant teacher, but even more than that she was a really good person, one of life's good guys.

"She gave up a lot for other people, and what has happened is just beyond belief. She would always go that extra mile for other people, particularly the students." All four children flourished in Mrs Maguire's care. The boys both went to university, one of her daughters is a solo dancer with the Royal Ballet, and her other daughter is an osteopath.

Mr Mort said he had last spoken to Mrs Maguire at a staff briefing on the morning she was killed. He said: "She was an inspiration, not only to the pupils but to the staff of the school. She led by example. She touched the hearts of three generations of pupils." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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