Ann’s grieving family call for law review

The Maguire family outside court
The Maguire family outside court

The family of murdered Wigan-born teacher Ann Maguire is seeking permission for a judicial review of the coroner tasked with holding an inquest into her death.

The full Inquest was due to be scheduled to begin at Wakefield Coroners’ Court on Monday but relatives of the Scholes 61-year-old, stabbed to death by a pupil in her Spanish class, are concerned that the hearing is not currently planning to review all the relevant evidence and hear from all relevant witnesses.

Will Cornick

Will Cornick

The inquiry, which was to have taken five days, has now been moved to November 13 and scheduled to take up to 10 days instead.

Because killer Will Cornick, who was 15 at the time of the killing, quickly admitted responsibility, police never fully reviewed the evidence.

A full inquest is not usually held following a successful prosecution but in January 2016 it was announced that one would be held into the death.

And the family say they were further thwarted in their quest for answers when a “learning lessons review” (LLR) into the tragedy at Leeds’s Corpus Christi Catholic College in April 2014, concluded no-one was to blame other than Cornick.

Ann Maguire

Ann Maguire

And at a pre-inquest review it was revealed that many of the conversations during the LLR were not recorded or written down and the family has concerns over how thorough the process was.

The Maguires have now instructed law firm Irwin Mitchell to seek permission for a review to challenge the coroner’s decision to exclude evidence and witnesses that they feel are vital to finding out the true chain of events leading to her death so that proper lessons can be learnt.

Senior coroner David Hinchliff said it was “inappropriate” to comment at present.

Yogi Amin, a partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The family have many unanswered questions and hoped that a full inquest, held in public, would examine the full chain of events and all the evidence available so that lessons could be learned to reduce the risk of similar incidents happening again.

Ann Maguire’s family have from the outset asked for a thorough, full and independent investigation into the horrific events that led to her murder by a pupil whilst she was teaching in the classroom. They believe this would be the best use of time and public resources.

However, they have become very concerned about the scope of the full inquest hearing scheduled for later this year.”