Boy, 14, admits stabbing Leeds teacher in classroom

Science teacher Vincent Uzomah. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Science teacher Vincent Uzomah. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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A 14-year-old boy has admitted stabbing a supply teacher from Leeds in a school classroom.

The teenager, who cannot be named, was arrested after 50-year-old Vincent Uzomah was stabbed in the stomach at Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford on June 11.

He appeared at the city’s crown court today where he denied attempted murder but admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

His plea was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service and Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the boy will be sentenced at a later date.

The boy sat in the dock flanked by two security guards and was wearing blue jeans, grey shirt and black puffa-style jacket.

He said “yes, sir” when he confirmed his name and spent much of the rest of the 11-minute hearing with his head bowed.

The teenager attacked Mr Uzomah in front of a number of other students at the start of a science class.

It is understood it happened following a disagreement over a mobile phone.

Mr Uzomah was stabbed once in the stomach with a kitchen knife the boy brought from home.

After the incident, the teenager ran off and was arrested by police in Bradford city centre following a six-hour search.

The case was not opened today but Judge Durham Hall said: “This is a very troubling case.”

He said the boy was “undoubtedly a very troubled young man” and said Mr Uzomah was “a very brave and compassionate victim”.

The teenager was remanded in custody and will be sentenced later this year, probably in August.

Judge Durham Hall said a psychiatric report and a pre-sentence report needed to be prepared before sentencing could take place.

He said he agreed with the CPS decision not to proceed with a charge of attempted murder, saying it would be very difficult to prove the defendant had an intention to kill.

As the boy left the dock the judge thanked him.

He said: “Your plea has been noted, very proper, at a very early stage. Thank-you.”

The boy was watched by two members of his family from the public gallery as he was led away.

Mr Uzomah was not in court.

After the incident at the school, where he had only been teaching for a few weeks, Mr Uzomah was taken to hospital but released a few days later following surgery.

He later issued a statement thanking people for their support.

He said: “I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to God and to everyone for all the support that myself and family have received during the course of the traumatic event of my life.

“It has been 12 days since this event occurred and I thank the Lord Jesus for sparing my life.”

Mr Uzomah, who has worked as an extra on the soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street, thanked the doctors and nurses who helped him and the staff at the Dixons Kings Academy.

He said: “My family and I appreciate the overwhelming support, love and care that we have received from friends and well-wishers, as I continue on the path towards recovery. Thank-you all.”

His casting agency said: “Vincent is a very nice, reliable, bubbly guy. He’s genuine and easy to get on with.”

The attack on Mr Uzomah caused shock in the Lidget Green area of Bradford where it happened. It took place only 15 miles from Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, where veteran Spanish teacher Ann Maguire was stabbed to death in April last year.

Will Cornick was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years before he is considered for release for murdering the 61-year-old teacher when he was 15.

Elijah Lawal, Google's communications manager for the UK and Ireland.

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