A 16-year-old student has been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering his teacher in Leeds, UK. The teenager, who has been named as Will Cornick, killed his Spanish teacher, Ann Maguire, at Corpus Christi Catholic College in April. She had been due to retire after working at the school for more than 40 years.
Prosecutor Paul Greaney QC told Leeds Crown Court that Cornick’s classmates had noticed increasingly disturbing behaviour from him. He had told other students that he wanted the teacher dead, saying on Facebook that she “deserves more than death, more than pain and more than anything that we can understand”.
Mr Greaney added: “Late on the night of Christmas Eve 2013, and into the early hours of Christmas Day, the defendant exchanged messages with a friend on Facebook.
“In those messages he spoke of ‘brutally killing’ Mrs Maguire and spending the rest of his life in jail so as not to have to worry about life or money.”
The BBC reports that the court was told that Mrs Maguire was killed when she was leaning over her desk helping another student with work when Cornick attacked her.
Mr Greaney said: “The defendant approached his teacher and began to stab her in the neck and back.
“Ann Maguire was 61 years of age, 5ft 2in height and of slim build. The defendant was a full foot taller and was armed with a large kitchen knife.
“To describe his attack as cowardly hardly does it justice.”
Mrs Maguire tried to flee, but the Cornick pursued her, “stabbing her as she sought to escape”. The prosecutor added that Cornick had already told students he planned to kill other teachers, including a pregnant woman “so as to kill her unborn child”.
However, his actions remain “inexplicable”, Mr Greaney said: “The parents are decent people and responsible parents. They are at a loss to understand how and why their son has turned out as he has and they have co-operated fully with the police and with the prosecution.
“It follows that this is not one of those cases in which a defendant’s actions may find a degree of explanation in his family circumstances.”
Cornick’s academic record had also “generally been positive”.