A Leeds community is tonight stuggling to come to terms with the tragic death of “lovely” teacher Anne Maguire,
Hundreds of pupils, both past and present, filed into Corpus Christi Catholic Church – which is just a stone’s throw away from the college that bears the same name – to light a candle in Mrs Maguire’s memory this evening.
Youngsters tearfully gathered outside the school gates throughout the day to lay floral tributes to the teacher who had taught there for over four decades.
They were even comforted by nuns from the nearby convent as they struggled to comprehend the tragic news.
They then made their way, some accompanied by their parents, into the neighbouring church for a quiet moment of simple reflection on the day’s events.
Rebecca Mansfield, who works in nearby Neville Fisheries, said the community was “sombre” after learning of Mrs Maguire’s death.
She said: “Everyone is really shocked and the mood is just sombre and sad.
“We had children coming in just crying and nothing like this has ever happened especially around here.
“We have had lots of people coming in just talking about how nice Mrs Maguire was.
“I have just never seen the estate so shocked like this before.”
Former pupil Ella Meah, 19, came straight to the school gates as soon as she heard what had happened.
She said: “She was a lovely teacher and I just can’t get my head around the fact that she has gone.
“I just wanted to come here and pay my respects and say one last goodbye.”
Aine Arnold, 17, laid flowers at the scene. She said: “I was taught by her for a couple of years and we went on skiing trips with her.
“She was such a lovely person.”
And neighbours of the teacher have told of their shock at her sudden and shattering death.
Mrs Maguire lived on leafy Broomhill Drive, just off Scott Hall Road in Moortown.
One resident on the street told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It’s awful to think someone can go to work on a Monday morning and never come back.”
The man, who asked not to be named, went on: “I am a teacher myself and heard during the day about what had happened.
“I didn’t know who was involved until I got home and my lad told me. I couldn’t believe it.
“This is a quiet street and it has obviously come as a massive shock to everyone.”
Another neighbour was too distressed to talk after answering her door, saying only: “She was a very good friend.”