A teenager accused of murdering teacher Ann Maguire in her classroom “has accepted responsibility for the unlawful killing”, Leeds Crown Court heard today.
Richard Wright QC, defending, said: “The defendant accepts that he unlawfully killed Ann Maguire.
“The issue in the case will be whether or not a partial defence is available to him.”
Ann Maguire, 61, died after she was stabbed at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Halton Moor, Leeds, on April 28.
No pleas were entered and a trial on the murder charge is scheduled to take place in November.
The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared on two video screens in the packed courtroom.
He was wearing an orange T-shirt with blue trousers and spoke twice to confirm his name as the 10 minute long hearing began and to acknowledge he understood what was happening when the judge asked him at the end.
Members of Mrs Maguire’s family watched the proceedings from the public gallery.
Mr Wright, prosecutor Paul Greaney QC and Judge Peter Collier QC all sat in court without their normal robes.
The court heard expert psychiatric reports would now be prepared before the trial.
Mr Greaney said: “It does not amount to an admission he is guilty of murder. It does amount to an admission he’s guilty of manslaughter.”
Both the judge and Mr Greaney asked the public to be extremely careful about using social media to discuss this case and stressed there could be heavy penalties for naming the defendant or other details about the case ahead of the trial.
Mrs Maguire was the first teacher to be stabbed to death in a British classroom and the first teacher to have been killed in a school since the 1996 Dunblane massacre.
She went to Corpus Christi as a student teacher and last year the school celebrated her 40 years’ service.
She was planning to retire this year.
Mrs Maguire, who was head of Year 11 at the school for more than 10 years, lived in the Moortown area of Leeds with her husband, Don, who is a former maths teacher and landscape gardener.
The teenager was told he will appear again for a hearing on September 26. He was remanded in custody.
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