Ann Maguire stabbing: Corpus Christi pupils attend Mass for teacher

Priest Paul Fisher: "She had a great joy to her. Some of the photographs that have gone out of Ann express that joy"

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The fatal stabbing of a teacher in front of her pupils has prompted condolence messages from as far afield as Australia.

Ann Maguire, 61, was killed at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds on Monday.

Tributes and flowers were left at the school gates and former pupils earlier attended a Mass for Mrs Maguire.

A 15-year-old pupil is being questioned by detectives, while the school is open as normal.

Det Supt Simon Beldon, of West Yorkshire Police, told a press conference the teenager remained in custody.

He said: "Given his young age this is a process which needs to be handled very sensitively and may take some time to complete.

"This is clearly an unprecedented and tragic incident which has left the wider community in a state of shock."

Mrs Maguire had taught at the school for 40 years, after starting her career there as a student teacher.

'Light of hope'

Those taught by her said she was an inspirational teacher who went out of her way to help students.

Ann Maguire Ann Maguire was treated by paramedics at the scene
Corpus Christi tie on railings A school tie was left on the railings at Corpus Christi School
Pupils arriving at Corpus Christi Catholic College Police were on patrol at Corpus Christi Catholic College on Tuesday morning
Pupils at Corpus Christi Church Pupils at Corpus Christi Church comforted each other

Leading the Mass for Mrs Maguire at Corpus Christi Church, Monsignor Paul Fisher told the congregation: "Yesterday evening, the community gathered here in church as well as outside to light candles and to say a prayer.

"By the time the church was closed, the candelabras were full of light.

"Today we pray for the light of hope. Hope for ourselves that we will come to terms, eventually, with what has happened.

"We pray for all those young people at our school next door and their teachers. We pray for Ann's family and friends. "

Det Supt Simon Beldon: "The suspect does remain in custody and will be interviewed at some point during today"

Former pupil Stephanie Pemberton spoke after the Mass.

She said: "I'm glad they have done something in memory of her, she gave so much to so many people.

"She was an incredible woman she came in on Saturdays to try to get us through our GCSEs.

"You just have to mention her name and you can't help but smile.

"I didn't believe it at first, I was in complete denial, I didn't want to believe it.

"When someone's had that much effect on your life, it's not an easy thing to accept."

'Show our support'

Priest Paul Fisher said: "Messages from those who knew Ann have come from across the country, with at least one from Australia."

At the scene

There was a palpable air of sadness this morning as at least 300 worshippers attended Mass at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Some tears were shed as prayers were said for Ann Maguire. Those present were asked to light a candle for the 61-year-old teacher stabbed to death just 24 hours before at Corpus Christi Catholic College.

There were also many solemn moments of silence as worshippers remembered this popular figure in the community.

After the service former Corpus Christi pupil Jamie Allanson, 16, said she cried when she heard the news of Mrs Maguire's death.

She said it was important to attend Mass today because of how much Mrs Maguire meant to everyone, "she would be proud at how many people turned up."

Daniel Phillips, 18, another former pupil said he just wanted to pay his respects, he said Mrs Maguire was "someone to look up to".

"I just wanted to show respect for her and her family".

Ryan Allanson, 18, said Mrs Maguire was a wonderful woman" who would go out of her way to help anybody.

"She was a step above", he said.

Former pupil Kathleen Walpole was also at the school gates.

She said: "I was devastated, absolutely devastated."

Ch Supt Paul Money, of West Yorkshire Police, said Mrs Maguire received a number of stab wounds and a knife was recovered from the scene.

The 61-year-old was taken to hospital after being fatally injured shortly before 12:00 BST on Monday.

A delegation of officials from Leeds City Council has gone to the school.

Tom Riordon, the authority's chief executive, said: "We're here to pay our respects to a wonderful teacher on behalf of the members and officers of Leeds City Council.

"We're about to go in and see people in the school and show our support."

Judith Blake, the council's executive member for children's services, said she supported the school's decision to open.

She said: "This is a very tragic incident. They have someone in custody.

"There is no risk coming to the school today. The school is safe."

Downing Street said the prime minister's thoughts were with the victim's family.

The Neville Road college has 950 pupils.

The Most Rev Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop-elect of Liverpool and chairman of the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales, spoke of his "shock and sadness" over the death of Mrs Maguire.

"Ann gave her life to the college and Catholic education, and thousands of young people have benefited from her kindness and hard work over many years," he said.

"May she rest in peace."

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