Boy, 15, loses appeal over stabbing of Leeds teacher in Bradford classroom

A BOY who was locked up for stabbing his teacher in a Bradford school - then boasting about it in a post ‘liked’ 69 times on Facebook - has lost an appeal against his sentence.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 27th October 2015, 3:12 pm
Vincent Uzomah. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Vincent Uzomah. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

The Bradford youngster pulled out a knife and stabbed 50-year-old science teacher Vincent Uzomah, from Moortown, Leeds, at Bradford’s Dixon Kings Academy in June.

He admitted wounding with intent and was given a sentence comprising six years’ custody and five on extended licence in August.

Today, rejecting an appeal against the sentence, Lady Justice Hallett said it would not be in the boy’s or the public’s interests to bring forward his release.

She said the now 15-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was a ‘deeply troubled young man’.

‘Whilst we acknowledge it’s a long sentence for a young man of his age, it’s not excessive,’ she said.

‘It is both what he deserves and what he needs.’

The court heard the boy had boasted to a friend that he was going to attack the supply teacher, who he had taken a dislike to.

On June 11, he took a six-inch knife to school with him and told friends about his plans in a meeting in a toilet.

He then went to the classroom, but became angry when Mr Uzomah told him to hand over his iPhone or leave the class.

Classmates said he was becoming increasingly red-faced and angry.

He made as if to leave, but then advanced on the teacher, produced the knife and stabbed him in the stomach.

Mr Uzomah thought he was going to die and was rushed to hospital. The knife had caused damage to his lower bowel.

The boy ran off and within an hour had posted a chilling message on Facebook: ‘Motherf***er getting funny, so I stick the blade in his tummy’.

The post was incredibly ‘liked’ by 69 of the boy’s circle of friends, the court heard.

He was eventually tracked down and arrested. Despite initially claiming to have heard voices telling him to stab a teacher, he ultimately pleaded guilty.

His barrister Richard Canning today argued before Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Edis and Judge Juliet May QC that his sentence was too tough.

The period he must spend in custody was too long and the Bradford Crown Court sentencing judge was wrong to add an additional licence period, he said.

But Lady Justice Hallett said the effects of what the boy had done were very serious for his victim.

‘The impact on him has been devastating - physically, psychologically and financially,’ she told the court.

‘It has greatly undermined his confidence and affected his enthusiasm, motivation and feeling of safety.

‘He may never be able to return to the profession he loved.’

Although the boy’s behaviour had improved more recently in custody, it would not be right to bring forward his eventual release at all, she said.

‘He stabbed a teacher, he disposed of the evidence, he boasted about what he had done,’ she concluded.

‘It would not be in his interests to reduce the amount of support offered to him.

‘It would not be in the interests of the public to release him without a lengthy and intensive period of supervision.’

His appeal was rejected.

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.