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Pope Francis expresses sympathy for Leeds teacher

Youth is charged with Ann Maguire’s murder

Pope Francis has expressed sympathy to the family of Ann Maguire and all those affected by her death in a message conveyed by the Papal Nuncio to the United Kingdom.

A 15-year-old boy was yesterday charged with the teacher’s murder.

Ann Maguire (above), 61, died from multiple stab wounds after she was attacked at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Halton Moor, Leeds, on Monday.

Archbishop Antonio Mennini, in a letter to Leeds Diocese, spoke of the ‘spiritual closeness’ of Pope Francis with all those affected by the tragedy including Mrs Maguire’s family, friends, colleagues and the community of Corpus Christi Catholic College.

In a letter to the apostolic administrator of the diocese, Mgr John Wilson, Archbishop Mennini asked for the message of ‘sincere sympathy’ to be conveyed on behalf of himself and the Pope.

“I assure you of my prayers for the repose of the soul of Mrs Maguire and for the consolation and strengthening of all those persons close to her and all those who mourn her sudden death,” Archbishop Mennini said. “May the Lord grant her eternal rest and the reward of her life of dedication and of service to young people and to education.”

The youth charged with the teacher’s murder, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will appear at Leeds Youth Court today. The Crown Prosecution Service said he would then appear at Leeds Crown Court for a bail hearing tomorrow.

Peter Mann, head of the complex casework unit at CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said that a ‘15-year-old male was arrested in connection with this incident and has been interviewed under caution by police.’

“Having carefully considered all of the evidence presented to us by West Yorkshire Police, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge this youth with the murder of Ann Maguire and that it is in the public interest to do so,” he added.

Mrs Maguire, who taught Spanish, was due to retire in September after a 40-year career.

Mrs Maguire’s death is thought to be the first time a teacher has been stabbed to death in a British classroom, and the first killing of a teacher in a school since the 1996 Dunblane massacre.


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