Leeds dad in court over murder of deputy head and daughter, 8

Abigail Miller and Sarah Laycock.
Abigail Miller and Sarah Laycock.
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A MAN has appeared in court in Leeds, charged with murdering his partner and their young daughter more than a year ago.

John Miller was arrested over the deaths of Sarah Laycock, 31, and eight-year-old Abigail Miller in Garforth, Leeds, in January last year.

They had both been stabbed. Miss Laycock had also suffered axe wounds.

Miller, 38, was initially detained under the Mental Health Act on what police said would be a “long-term arrangement”.

But West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team have charged Miller with the murder of both Miss Laycock and Abigail.

He appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court for a brief hearing today. Flanked by four security guards and wearing a grey short-sleeved polo neck shirt and grey jogging bottoms, balding Miller, a plasterer, spoke only to confirm his name.

The court heard he is also charged with six counts of assaults on two paramedics, three police officers and a member of the public.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Leeds Crown Court later this week.

Miller was initially arrested on suspicion of assault after police were called to Fairburn Ings nature reserve, near Fairburn, following an alleged incident on the afternoon of January 14 last year. He was reported as having a serious arm injury when paramedics and police arrived.

Miller was subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder after the bodies of Miss Laycock, a deputy head teacher at Wheldon Infant School, Castleford, and Abigail were found by police at their home on Kirkby Avenue, about five miles away.

Miller is charged with two counts of murder between January 13 and 14.

An inquest into the deaths of Miss Laycock and Abigail, who was a pupil at Ninelands Primary School in Garforth, was opened in February last year. It heard Miss Laycock had suffered multiple axe and stab wounds.

The inquests were subsequently adjourned pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.