Ruling on evidence at inquest into stabbed Leeds teacher’s death unlawful, court hears

Don Maguire and his daughter Kerry, outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. PIC: PA
Don Maguire and his daughter Kerry, outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. PIC: PA

It was unlawful for a coroner not to call evidence from pupils who had contact with the schoolboy killer of Leeds teacher Ann Maguire immediately before the murder, the High Court has heard.

Mrs Maguire’s husband Don, children and nephews want Mr Justice Holroyde to order the decision taken by assistant West Yorkshire coroner Kevin McLoughlin to be reconsidered.

An inquest into Mrs Maguire’s death is due to take place before a jury at Wakefield Coroner’s Court in November.

The 61-year-old teacher was stabbed in the back by 15-year-old Will Cornick as she taught a Spanish class at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds in April 2014.

Cornick was later sentenced to life by a judge, who ordered he must serve at least 20 years and warned that he may never be released.

On Wednesday in London, counsel Nick Armstrong told the judge that it was the only occasion on which a teacher had been killed by a pupil in a British classroom and the family were anxious “that all the lessons that can be learned from this enormous tragedy are learned”.

“They want to understand precisely what happened, and to use that understanding to help ensure that all steps are taken to try to prevent it from ever happening again.”

Mr Armstrong said it was a matter “of very substantial and current public interest” at a time when there were reports of a “spike” in the number of knives in schools.

“This is our only lesson-learning opportunity in relation to that.”

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