Ann Maguire: Murder that sent shockwaves through a disbelieving country

Pupils pictured outside Corpus Christi Catholic College paying tribute to Mrs Maguire.
Pupils pictured outside Corpus Christi Catholic College paying tribute to Mrs Maguire.
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THE TRAGIC events of April 28, 2014, sent shockwaves not just through Leeds but the whole country.

Ann Maguire, a much-loved teacher, was savagely knifed in a school classroom by one of her own pupils.

The reaction to the loss of Mrs Maguire in such horrendous circumstances was a mix of outrage, sorrow and bewilderment.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron said his and all MPs’ thoughts were with the teacher’s family and friends after the incident at Corpus Christi Catholic College.

Mr Cameron said: “I’m sure the whole House will want to join me in paying tribute to Ann Maguire, who was stabbed to death in her Leeds classroom.

“It is clear from the tributes paid she was a much-loved teacher who had worked at the school for over 40 years. She cared so much about her pupils she had come in on her day off to help prepare them for exams.

“Our thoughts are with her family, her friends and the entire school community in Leeds who have been left devastated by this truly shocking and appalling tragedy.

“A criminal investigation is under way and everything that can be done to get to the bottom of what happened at the school will be done.”

Pope Francis also expressed his condolences in a letter sent by a representative of the Vatican to Monsignor John Wilson at the Diocese of Leeds.

There was praise, too, for the bravery shown by the victim’s colleagues on the day of the attack.

Speaking after Mrs Maguire’s killer, Will Cornick, was sentenced to life at Leeds Crown Court in November, West Yorkshire Police’s Chief Supt Paul Money said: “Unfortunately none of us can do anything to bring Ann back and it can seem like very little good could ever emerge from an incident like this.

“But I would just like to draw attention to the manner in which Ann’s family, pupils and staff at the school and the wider community have responded to what happened.

“They all deserve huge credit. I would also like to put on record my thanks for the very brave actions of a number of teaching staff in the initial aftermath of this incident, comforting Ann and keeping her safe from more harm.”

The court had heard how pupils rushed into the corridor screaming in panic after Mrs Maguire was attacked. She ran to her colleague Susan Francis and told her “he’s stabbed me in the neck”. Mrs Francis pushed Mrs Maguire into a workroom and bravely held her foot against its door to stop Cornick getting in before he walked away, his face emotionless.