A 7-year-old girl found with fatal injuries in York yesterday was stabbed twice, locals have claimed.

Katie Rough was discovered in a grassy alleyway in a suburb of the city and later died in hospital, the Daily Mail reports.

Her mother Alison Rough, 38, collapsed and cried: "No, no, it's my little girl."

Less than a fortnight earlier, she had been a bridesmaid at her mother's wedding.


Police charged a 15-year-old girl with murder and possession of an offensive weapon. She will appear before magistrates in York at 10am today (overnight NZT).

Residents in the area said the schoolgirl had been stabbed twice before she died.

Dog walkers are believed to have come across Katie lying on the grass just metres from a quiet cul-de-sac in York yesterday.

Witnesses gave traumatic accounts of how Katie's parents, Alison Rough and her new husband Paul, 34 were quickly on the scene and watched in horror as the emergency services fought in vain to save their daughter.

They said Mrs Rough shouted "she's killed her" while her husband was slumped against a wall in despair.

Rob McCartney, who lives in the adjacent cul-de-sac, heard Katie's mother shouting "Help! Help! Get an ambulance."

He said he saw a child "lying on the field" with two police officers attending to her.

"I turned around and saw the mother was in a state of great distress, crying and shouting out for her daughter. It was very upsetting," said the 50-year-old consultant engineer.

"She was moving back and forth between the playing field and the street and was very distraught. Her husband or partner then arrived and put his arms around her trying to pacify her but their distress was obvious, it was terrible."

Katie is believed to have lived with her parents in a semi-detached house 10 minutes walk from the alleyway in the Foxwood estate.

A card left on behalf of the girl's grandparents today said: "Night, night my darling Princess Katie. Love Nana and Grandad xx xx"

A local resident, whose partner works for the NHS, said he was told by the nurse that treated the girl that she suffered two stab wounds.

The woman said: "My partner was told by the nurse that treated her that she was stabbed twice."

Another resident of the street said: "I arrived in my car behind the mother. I wasn't quite sure what was going on, it wasn't until I spoke to the police that I found out.

"The mother was on her knees in the middle of the road, crying and saying things. It was quite distressing."

The little girl was taken away on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on but later died from her injuries.

Katie Rough was found down a grassy alleyway leading to a field in York. Photo / Google Maps
Katie Rough was found down a grassy alleyway leading to a field in York. Photo / Google Maps

Police have sealed off the area today and a white tent has been erected where the child was found.

Two police vans were parked outside a house belonging to Katie's family.

Police have appealed for people who saw two girls in the area to come forward.

Alison Rough has three older children from a previous relationship and Rough is a father-of-two.

They had been in a relationship for years but only married in the local registry office on December 28.

Christina Mercer, who lives next door, said Katie was "lovely, really sweet".

She said she had lived next door for around six months and said they were a "lovely family".

Mercer, 24, a college administrator, said: "She was usually playing at the front in the garden or round the back of the house playing with some friends.

"She was lovely, really sweet, smiling, laughing, playing with her friends. She was really friendly, running around."

She said the family were "really quiet" and "great neighbours".

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said officers arrested a teenage girl following the incident, which happened close to a property in Alness Drive, York - a cul-de-sac lined with detached houses.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Ellis said the 15-year-old remained in police custody and officers were carrying out house-to-house inquiries.

She was charged with Katie's murder.

Mr Ellis said: "Specially trained officers are supporting the victim's family at this extremely difficult time for them.

"Clearly the circumstances require the investigation to be conducted in a particularly sensitive manner."

North Yorkshire Police tweeted on Monday: "Difficult and tragic shift. Our thoughts and sympathy are with the parents and family involved as well as colleagues who did all they could."

The York City and East police team also tweeted: "Difficult late shift for all York staff with tragic death of a seven year old. Thoughts go out to family members."

Alness Drive is a quiet street lined with red-brick detached homes, lying to the southeast of the city centre.

Police taped over the number plate of a black Peugeot 206 car which has been at the scene overnight.

The car appears to have been hurriedly parked right at the entrance to the footpath which has been sealed off by police tape, leading to the forensics tent.

Tracey Ralph, headmistress at Westfield Primary School where Katie was a pupil, said: "Katie was a kind and thoughtful child who was well liked by both pupils and staff.

"She was hardworking and showed a particular talent for creative writing.

"Her death is a terrible loss which has deeply saddened our school community and we send our profound sympathies to her family.

"All members of our school are being offered emotional support at this distressing time."