I’d mur­der her for a ten­ner

Chill­ing boast of boy, 15, who knifed teacher to death in class­room

Daily Mail - - News - By Tom Witherow

A BOY of 15 who stabbed his teacher to death in her class­room had boasted on Face­book he would mur­der her ‘for a ten­ner’, an in­quest heard.

On the day of the killing Will Cor­nick told at least ten of his school­mates ‘pre­cisely’ what he was go­ing to do.

Ann Maguire, 61, ‘ stood ab­so­lutely no chance what­so­ever’ when the ‘strap­ping’ teenage boy came at her with an 8in kitchen knife in an ‘ enor­mous crescendo of rage and vi­o­lence’, the hear­ing was told.

He stabbed the ‘pe­tite’ mother of two eight times, sev­er­ing her jugu­lar vein, dur­ing a Span­ish les­son at Cor­pus Christi Catholic Col­lege in Leeds in April 2014.

An­other teacher bravely put her­self be­tween Cor­nick and his vic­tim af­ter she stag­gered into a cor­ri­dor, but Mrs Maguire, who was a foot shorter than the teenager, died in hos­pi­tal.

Yes­ter­day it emerged that the GCSE pupil had told oth­ers ex­actly what he was go­ing to do and had writ­ten about killing the teacher nu­mer­ous times on Face­book.

In a chem­istry class an hour be­fore the at­tack, Cor­nick showed friends the ‘vi­cious-look­ing’ knife and said: ‘ Mrs Maguire will die.’

Dur­ing the same les­son he told a fel­low pupil to film the planned as­sault on a mo­bile phone.

Cor­nick, who played the vi­o­lent video game As­sas­sin’s Creed and was ob­sessed with Quentin Tarantino’s ‘killing- spree movie’ Pulp Fic­tion, held a grudge against Mrs Maguire, the in­quest heard.

The grue­some at­tack was the first time a teacher had been mur­dered in a Bri­tish class­room. Mrs Maguire had taught Span­ish to two gen­er­a­tions of pupils at Cor­pus Christi and was de­scribed as the ‘ful­crum of the school’.

Dur­ing a les­son, Cor­nick calmly got up from his seat in a languages class­room on the fourth floor, stabbed the teacher and then re­turned to his seat ‘like noth­ing had hap­pened’.

More than three and a half years af­ter her death, more ques­tions are be­ing raised as to how no­body knew about the killer’s vi­o­lent na­ture and long-held grudge against her. De­tec­tive Su­perin- ten­dent Nick Wallen, who in­ves­ti­gated the mur­der, said Cor­nick had told ‘at least ten other pupils pre­cisely what he was go­ing to do – where he was go­ing to do it and how he was go­ing to do it’.

The teenager had also hinted at his sick plan in a string of chill­ing Face­book mes­sages to friends, Wake­field Coroner’s Court heard.

Around four months be­fore the killing he had boasted: ‘As long as she’s still alive I’ll be de­pressed, sad and an­gry.’

He later wrote: Any­way for a ten­ner I bru­tally kill Maguire … by that I mean I’ll give you a ten­ner to do it … So if I do kill Maguire on Tues­day in school will you bail me out?’

In a sep­a­rate mes­sage he said: ‘If I’m gonna be your as­sas­sin then I’m gonna need enough pay to bail me out if I get caught.

‘Btw [by the way] no bulls***, I am full on hon­est about be­ing your as­sas­sin.’

Face­book al­lows users to re­port mes­sages if they con­tain ‘threats of phys­i­cal harm’, but train­ing

‘As long as she’s alive I’ll be an­gry’

man­u­als leaked ear­lier this year said death threats can be ig­nored if they are generic or ‘not cred­i­ble’. And if a post is re­ported stretched teams of mod­er­a­tors have just ten sec­onds to make a de­ci­sion on each re­port.

The in­quest also heard that the dis­turbed teenager changed his cover photo on Face­book to a Grim Reaper dur­ing the mes­sage ex­changes in De­cem­ber 2013.

The posts con­tin­ued into 2014, with ref­er­ences to what he would go on to do just a few months later. In Jan­uary, he wrote: ‘ I want power. I want … to get told off by Maguire and for me to turn around with skill, pride and power and axe her f****** cock­les with a long and shiny blade.’

He asked a fel­low pupil if he was will­ing to film him at­tack­ing Mrs Maguire on a mo­bile phone, the pupil’s wit­ness state­ment said.

His com­ments were not re­ported to staff, the jury heard, and even when he showed other pupils the knife on the day of the mur­der they failed to take him se­ri­ously. In the min­utes be­fore the at­tack, Cor­nick – seen as ‘a bit weird’ by fel­low pupils – had also winked at a class­mate, the jury was told.

Mr Wallen said: ‘He was a young man who was prone to say things that weren’t true. That’s the rea­son that, on the day, most peo­ple who Will spoke to thought, “That’s just Will, that’s what he does”.

‘ He [ a fel­low pupil] did not be­lieve what Cor­nick was say­ing and [thought] that this was a fan­tasy be­ing lived out on Face­book.’ He added: ‘This at­tack came com- pletely out of the blue. No­body in the class­room saw this com­ing. I would say she stood ab­so­lutely no chance what­so­ever. All of the chil­dren were very up­set and all suf­fered dif­fer­ent de­grees of trauma.

He added: ‘I ab­so­lutely am of the view that there is one per­son re­spon­si­ble for Ann Maguire’s death – that is Wil­liam Cor­nick.

‘He has pleaded guilty at the Crown Court to Ann’s mur­der.’

Dur­ing the po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion of­fi­cers were in­structed not to ask the chil­dren why they had not re­ported what they heard.

In the first of two in­ci­dents high­lighted at the hear­ing, Cor­nick stormed out of a meet­ing that had been called to dis­cuss his Span­ish work af­ter Mrs Maguire ar­gued that he should not be al­lowed to drop the sub­ject.

She later tried to pre­vent him from go­ing on a school bowl­ing trip, putting him in de­ten­tion.

Cor­nick, now 19, had said he was pre­pared to go to jail ‘so as not to have to worry about life or money’. Af­ter the mur­der he said: ‘I know the vic­tim’s fam­ily will be up­set but in my eyes ev­ery­thing I have done is fine and dandy.’

The teacher’s wid­ower told the court the idea her killer had an ‘ir­ra­tional and historical ha­tred’ of his wife ‘seems as strange now as it did then’.

Com­pany di­rec­tor Don Maguire said: ‘This was a good lad. He was bright. He was do­ing well at school. He was from a good home. He had a bit of a dark sense of hu­mour. He did this ter­ri­ble thing. There’s no ex­pla­na­tion and no logic to it. I per­son­ally have al­ways strug­gled a lit­tle bit with that nar­ra­tive.’

Re­call­ing the mo­ment he saw his wife in hos­pi­tal, he added: ‘As soon as I walked in I knew she had gone. I knew she had gone be­cause not one set of eyes looked at my di­rec­tion. They said I could hold her hand and it was cold.’

Mr Maguire added that his wife had dis­cussed re­tir­ing on the morn­ing of the at­tack.

Nick Armstrong, coun­sel for the Maguire fam­ily, said Cor­nick had told friends he was de­pressed, had tried to com­mit sui­cide and was draw­ing ‘dis­turbed’ images at 13.

Cor­nick, who took his GCSEs a year early, was not known to po­lice or safe­guard­ing agen­cies.

Mr Wallen said he be­lieved in­tro­duc­ing air­port-style se­cu­rity was not a pro­por­tion­ate re­sponse in a school such as Cor­pus Christi.

The teenager pleaded guilty to mur­der in Novem­ber 2014 and was sen­tenced to life in prison with a min­i­mum tar­iff of 20 years.

The in­quest into Mrs Maguire’s death is due to last two weeks.

‘Ir­ra­tional ha­tred’

Vic­tim: Teacher Ann Maguire, left. Above, her wid­ower Don and daugh­ter Emma ar­rive at the in­quest in Wake­field yes­ter­day

His Face­book draw­ing of the Grim Reaper

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.