A teenager who killed a seven-year-old girl in a park has been ordered to be detained for assessment in a specialist hospital for 12 weeks by a judge who told her she poses “a high risk of serious harm to others and to yourself”.
The 16-year-old girl broke down and sobbed at Leeds Crown Court where she appeared via video-link on Thursday to be sentenced for the manslaughter of Katie Rough.
Katie was found with severe lacerations to her neck and chest on a playing field in York in January and did not respond to frantic attempts to revive her.
Katie Rough’s funeral took place at York Minister (John Giles/PA)
But a judge heard earlier this year that she actually died from being smothered by her attacker, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
On Thursday, Mr Justice Soole told the defendant she would be detained in hospital for 12 weeks before she is returned to court for further sentencing to take place on November 24.
The judge told her: “All sentencing options will be open when, at its conclusion, I make my final decision.”
He said: “It is not in dispute that you currently pose a high risk of serious harm to others and to yourself.”
Katie Rough’s parents – Paul and Alison are greeted by the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu (John Giles/PA)
The girl, wearing glasses and dressed in casual clothes, sat with a lawyer in another room at the court building.
For most of the hearing she had her legs crossed and rested her hands in her lap as she listened to the lawyers discuss her clinical diagnoses.
But, as the judge addressed her, she bent forward and began crying loudly.
The judge told the court he only had a short section of his ruling left to deliver and would carry on speaking.
Earlier this year, the court heard that the teenager was found standing in a cul-de-sac in a York suburb, covered in blood and carrying a blood-stained Stanley knife as she rang 999 to tell police what she had done.
Mourners pay their respect to Katie Rough at her funeral at York Minister (Danny Lawson/PA)
The judge was told she may have been trying to prove Katie was not a robot as she had “irrational beliefs”.
The girl denied murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility at the hearing in July. This plea was accepted by the prosecution.
The judge has heard that the girl began suffering from mental health problems more than a year before the killing.
Prosecutors said she had reported delusional thoughts as well as depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
They said the girl had talked of being convinced that people “weren’t human and were robots”.