Teacher stabbing: Suspect keen on violent video game

Murdered teacher, described as an inspiration to all, was just weeks away from retiring.

Police stand outside Corpus Christi Catholic College. Photo / AP
Police stand outside Corpus Christi Catholic College. Photo / AP

Downing Street has said it will do everything possible to prevent a repeat of the murder of Ann Maguire, as it emerged the teenager accused of stabbing her is a fan of a violent video game marketed with the slogan "prepare to die".

A 15-year-old boy was still being held on suspicion of murder as police said questioning him "may take some time".

The teenager, described by classmates as a "loner", enjoyed playing Dark Souls 2, a 15-rated "death-laden" fantasy game in which a cursed character uses medieval weapons to kill others. Police have confirmed the suspect's online life forms part of their inquiries.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said "of course" the Government would look at any "lessons to learn" from the murder at a school in Leeds.

The boy is known to have become withdrawn after his parents, a civil servant and a human resources director, separated.

He is said to have turned up at school with gin, Jack Daniel's whiskey and beer in his bag on various occasions. Maguire, 61, was weeks away from retiring when she was killed during a Spanish lesson. She would have taught her last lesson in July before retiring in September, and worked a four-day week.

As a post mortem examination confirmed she died from multiple stab wounds, it emerged that Maguire raised her two nephews alongside her own two daughters when her sister died aged 35. Maguire, whose daughters were 4 and 2 when her sister Eileen passed away in 1985, did not hesitate to give a home to her nephews, Daniel and Andrew Connor, who were aged 9 and 5.

Margaret Freeman, who taught alongside Maguire at Corpus Christi Catholic College for 25 years, said: "She was a brilliant teacher, but even more than that she was a really good person, one of life's good guys. She gave up a lot for other people, and what has happened is just beyond belief. She would always go that extra mile for other people, particularly the students."

Steve Mort, head teacher of Corpus Christi, said he had last spoken to Maguire at a staff briefing on the morning she was killed. He said: "She was an inspiration, not only to the pupils but to the staff of the school. She led by example. She touched the hearts of three generations of pupils."

The killing of Maguire has highlighted the risks inner city teachers take every day dealing with threats of violence in the classroom.

Emma, a teaching assistant at a pupil referral unit in the West Midlands, has been "punched, kicked, sworn at, insulted, head butted, scratched, screamed at, bitten and had things thrown at me, most notably a table in my first week."

She copes with verbal abuse from pupils by imagining she is "surrounded by an invisible impenetrable barrier".

A teacher from County Antrim, Northern Ireland, spoke of being repeatedly attacked.

"This pupil had been trying to bite me, slap people, hit me with furniture, tried to choke me and then it escalated. I was hit in the leg with a missile and then the head."

He added: "I believe the child who attacked me should have been given one-to-one teaching, but there isn't the money for it; therefore I got hurt."

Another teacher, from a school in Waltham Forest, London, said: "A student turned up to a practical lab session late, drunk and belligerent, put his foot in the door so I couldn't shut it, argued with the lab technician who tried to get him to leave, and attempted to hit security when they came to remove him."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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