A 16-year-old boy has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of a teacher who was stabbed to death in front of her class in Leeds.
The boy had previously admitted murdering Ann Maguire, 61, in her classroom at Corpus Christi Catholic college on 28 April. Her family were in Leeds crown court to hear his guilty plea. The youngster was 15 and studying for his GCSEs at the time of the attack, the court had heard.
The minimum sentence for the crime is usually 12 years but the judge said he was increasing that because of seven aggravating features including the fact that it was premeditated, committed in public, in front of children and witnesses who were “traumatised”, and that Maguire had died in “extreme pain”.
He said the boy showed “a chilling lack of remorse”.
Maguire’s daughter Emma had previously told the court: “Every morning I wake up hoping it’s all a bad dream. There’s a split second before reality sets in.” Maguire’s husband, Don, said: “There will be no closure. Balance will never return. There will be no level scales.”
The court heard that Maguire was the pupil’s Spanish teacher. The boy, whose parents had sat with him in the dock at Leeds crown court as he admitted the killing, was a model pupil in year 7, was “amicable, enthusiastic and conscientious” but changed after being diagnosed with diabetes. The diabetes had a major impact on his mood and personality. His mother noticed evidence of self-harming.
He was upset that his diabetes would prevent him from joining the army. He started to harbour a hatred for Ann Maguire, the court heard.
The boy told other pupils he had been carrying a knife and wanted Maguire dead: police discovered many images of knives on his mobile phone. On Christmas eve 2013 the boy told a friend on Facebook that he wanted to “brutally kill” Maguire and spend the rest of his life in jail.
The boy told one friend he planned to kill two other teachers as well as Maguire – one was young and pregnant.
On the day of the murder the boy took knives to school and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whisky in order to “celebrate afterwards”.
The attack took place at Maguire’s desk. The boy was in her Spanish lesson. He told a pupil of his plan and winked as he left to kill her.
He attacked Maguire from behind, the court heard. She was 5ft 2in: a foot shorter than her killer. He was expressionless as he stabbed her in the neck and back.