Teenage killer of Leeds teacher loses bid to cut jail term

The family of teacher Ann Maguire, (left to right) daughter Kelly, husband Don and other daughter Emma, leave the High Court in London where  Will Cornick lost a challenge to his 20-year minimum term for her murder. PIC: PA

The family of teacher Ann Maguire, (left to right) daughter Kelly, husband Don and other daughter Emma, leave the High Court in London where Will Cornick lost a challenge to his 20-year minimum term for her murder. PIC: PA

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THE teenager who murdered school teacher Ann Maguire has lost an appeal against his 20-year minimum prison term.

Will Cornick, 16, was jailed in November after stabbing Mrs Maguire, 61, to death as she taught a Spanish class at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Halton in Leeds.

The sentencing judge Mr Justice Coulson told Cornick that he must serve at least 20 years before being considered for parole but warned him: “It’s quite possible that day may never come.”

Yesterday barrister Richard Wright QC, representing Cornick, told the Court of Appeal in London that 20 years was “simply too long”, bearing in mind Cornick’s youth, plea and lack of previous convictions.

However a panel of judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, rejected the argument, saying that on the “disturbing” facts of the case the sentencing judge came to “entirely the right decision”.

In his ruling, Lord Thomas said there could be no doubt of

the devastation which the murder had caused Mrs Maguire’s family.

He cited Cornick’s extensive premeditation and other aggravating features, including the level of violence used, Mrs Maguire’s suffering and the total lack of remorse.

The judge said: “We consider, looking at the matter and giving due weight to each of those factors, that the deduction which the judge made of five years [from a starting-point of 25 years] was correct.

“We then stood back and asked – ‘was this the right and proper sentence?’.

“In our view, it was, and on the disturbing facts of this case, 20 years was entirely the right decision.”

Cornick, who was 15 at the time, attacked Mrs Maguire last April after boasting to friends that he was going to kill her.

After the killing, he told psychiatrists that he “couldn’t give a s***” and added: “Everything I’ve done is fine and dandy.”

The crown court heard Cornick winked at another boy before he launched into a savage assault in front of a terrified class full of pupils.

Mrs Maguire was left with stab wounds that the paramedic who attended said were the worst she had ever seen, including one wound which went straight through her neck and another that cut her jugular vein.

Despite the injuries caused by the eight-inch-long kitchen knife, she managed to leave the classroom, pursued by the teenager, until a colleague bundled her into a room and held the door shut.

The judge heard that Cornick, who pleaded guilty to murder, had never shown any remorse and had since spoken of his pride in what he had done.

Cornick was not present for yesterday’s hearing.

Mrs Maguire’s family, who were in court, declined to make a statement.

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