Katie Rough, the seven-year-old girl murdered in York on Monday, died after having her throat slit, it has been revealed, as the teen accused of killing her has appeared in court.
Katie was found seriously injured on a playing field in the Woodthorpe area of York - less than a mile from the family home - around 90 minutes after finishing primary school at 3pm. She later died in hospital.
Her mother, named locally as Alison Rough, was later seen by witnesses on her knees, crying and pleading for help, saying, ‘No, no, it’s my little girl’.
Less than two weeks ago Katie was a bridesmaid at her mother’s wedding.
A 15-year-old girl was charged with murder and possession of an offensive weapon in relation to Katie’s death and appeared at York Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday where she was remanded into secure accommodation.
Katie’s grandparents and other relatives attended the hearing where the accused remained silent throughout proceedings.
The teenager will next appear before Leeds Crown Court on Friday.
Dog walkers are believed to have come across Katie, who has been described as a “kind and thoughtful child”, lying on the grass suffering from knife wounds around 4.30pm.
Witnesses have given traumatic accounts of how Katie’s parents, Alison, 38, and her new husband Paul, 34, watched in horror as emergency services fought to save their daughter’s life.
The MailOnline reported that Rough shouted “she’s killed her”, while her husband slumped against a wall.
Rough reportedly has three older children from a previous relationship. Her new husband is said to be a father-of-two.
The Mail said the pair had been in a relationship for years but only married in the local registry office on December 28, 2016.
Katie’s aunt Sarah Nockels, 37, told the website: “We are all just absolutely devastated. We just need to be given time to grieve.”
Rob McCartney has detailed the moments after Katie’s murder and how he saw the girl lying in the field near the quiet cul-de-sac.
The 50-year-old said he saw Katie’s mother ran up the street “shouting for help”.
“(The mother) was back and forth, obviously very, very distraught and who I think was the father turned up.
“I spoke to her later, asked if she was OK and she said ‘No, no, she’s my little girl’.”
Tracey Ralph, Katie’s headteacher at Westfield Primary School, said the death was a “terrible loss”.
“Katie was a kind and thoughtful child who was well liked by both pupils and staff.
“She was hard working and showed a particular talent for creative writing.
“Her death is a terrible loss which has deeply saddened our school community and we send our profound sympathies to her family.
“All members of our school are being offered emotional support at this distressing time.”
The area where Katie was found was cordoned off on Tuesday while forensic officers examined the scene and mourners laid flowers in the street.
One couple, believed to be the young girl’s grandparents, left a bouquet with a card, which read: “Night, night my darling princess Katie, love Nana and Grandad.”
Jon Stonehouse, director of children’s services at City of York Council, said the “tragic incident” had “shocked the city” and specialist support was being offered to the school and wider community.
Police have appealed for anyone who may have seen the two girls in the area of Morrell Court, Bellhouse Way, Osprey Close and Alness Drive between 3pm and 5pm on Monday to get in touch.
A force spokesman said the investigation into Katie’s death was ongoing, adding: “Katie’s family are devastated by this tragic event and have asked for their privacy to be respected at this extremely distressing time.”
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should call 101, select option one, speak to the Force Control Room and ask to be put through to the Cleveland and North Yorkshire Major Investigation Team using the reference number 12170004685.