THE husband and daughters of teacher Ann Maguire, who was stabbed to death in her classroom, watched yesterday as the 15-year-old boy accused of her murder appeared in court.
Donald Maguire stared at the 15-year-old accused of murdering his 61-year-old wife as the teenager appeared for a two-minute hearing at Leeds Youth Court. He is accused of killing the teacher as she taught a lesson at Corpus Christi Catholic College on Monday morning.
Mr Maguire, 62, sat between his daughters Kerry and Emma at the back of the courtroom and clutched their hands as the boy stood in the glass-fronted dock flanked by security guards.
A few hours after they attended court, Mr Maguire and his family travelled to the school where his wife died to lay flowers at the gate. They spent about ten minutes looking at the hundreds of messages and flowers stretching from the entrance to the school to the gates of the neighbouring Corpus Christi church about 100 yards away.
The family then spent around 30 minutes in the church, where they were comforted by Deacon Sean Quigley.
Mr Quigley, who once taught in the classroom opposite Mrs Maguire, said: “The family came in and prayed. They had looked at some of the tributes that were outside and they were obviously in a state of great distress.
“I told them that they are surrounded by a sea of love, but that is not such a tremendous comfort at the present time.”
Asked how the family was, Mr Quigley said: “I think you saw how they were. I won’t say any more than that. I think they were as you can imagine.”
Mrs Maguire was months from retiring after working at Corpus Christi for more than 40 years when she was stabbed in front of pupils. Police confirmed yesterday that she died from multiple stab wounds.
In a statement released through West Yorkshire Police, the family said: “Our beautiful Ann, our shining light, she brightened the world for so many of us. A loving wife, the best mother, a treasured sister, a true friend. This horrific happening has robbed us of all of this and so much more. We are devastated. Her selfless, genuine, caring nature will remain with us eternally.
“We are overwhelmed by the support, sympathy and kind tributes we have received. They have been a source of great comfort at this dark time.”
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in court with his right arm in plaster.
Dressed in navy blue tracksuit bottoms and a matching sweatshirt, he nodded to his parents as he walked into court and spoke four times to say “Yes” to questions from the clerk.
The court clerk asked him if he understood the murder charge and to confirm personal details, including his date of birth and address.
District Judge Roy Anderson remanded him in youth detention, to appear at Leeds Crown Court today by video-link. He said no application for bail was allowed at yesterday’s hearing.