14-year-old boy accused of murdering Alfie Lewis outside school in Horsforth appears in crown court
Alfie, 15, was attacked in the Horsforth area of the city on Tuesday afternoon as children were leaving two nearby schools.
On Friday members of Alfie’s family sat in the public gallery as the teenager accused of stabbing him to death made his first appearance at crown court.
Wearing glasses and a grey sweatshirt over a white shirt, the defendant spoke only to confirm his name during the brief hearing and was not asked to enter pleas to the charges of murder and possessing a knife.
Nicholas Lumley KC, representing the defendant, told Leeds Crown Court he “admits he was there” (at the scene).
Judge Guy Kearl KC, the Recorder of Leeds, remanded the teenager into youth detention accommodation until his plea and trial preparation hearing at Leeds Crown Court on December 8.
The judge said “concerns for (the defendant’s) safety” were among the considerations when deciding where he should stay until his next appearance.
“The issues in the case are not fully defined, the background to the case is not yet known,” he said.
“I have considered remanding (the youth) to local authority accommodation but I consider something more secure is required at this time.”
A letter to parents from Alfie’s former school on Friday said they had held drop-in counselling sessions since the incident.
Headteacher Dr Paul Bell said: “Students and staff have been affected, either because they knew Alfie or because they know there has been a violent crime on our doorstep.”
The letter, seen by the PA news agency, said: “A young man has been taken from us far too soon and whilst he was not currently studying at Horsforth, he will always be our student.
“You will have seen the emails from us as well as the stories in the media and you may be aware of a lot of social media posts.
“I would like to reiterate that the police have requested we refrain from unhelpful speculation around the incident and treat the social media posts with caution.”