In April of this year, 15-year-old William Cornick brutally murdered his Spanish teacher Ann Maguire in her classroom at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds.
The brutality of the premeditated murder and lack of remorse shown by Cornick make this one of the most disturbing cases I have read about in years. Personally I think his life sentence with a minimum of 20 years is fit for purpose, yet there are those in the media who disagree. I was shocked to read that Penelope Gibbs, the director of Transform Justice, said his minimum 20 years sentence was far too harsh. She complained that 20 years "is more than his own lifetime", as though sentencing ought to be a decision totally divorced from the severity of the crime.
Let us re-cap on what Cornick actually did - and what he planned to do. Firstly, he horrifically murdered Ann Maguire by stabbing her with a 9 inch kitchen knife seven times in the back and neck. Next, he had intended to stab his Head of Year, Andrew Kellett. But even more disturbingly, he had obsessed with stabbing in the stomach another languages teacher, Sinead Miley, who was pregnant. It was reported that Cornick specifically wanted to kill her unborn child. Thankfully, the deranged Cornick was unable to carry out his brutal bloodbath.
Appearing in front of the judge and jury at his trial; Cornick showed no remorse whatsoever. The judge increased the usual minimum tariff from 12 years to 20 years, due to the "chilling lack of remorse" shown. The court heard that Cornick had told doctors that he wished he had the chance to kill his other two targets and that the murder of Mrs Maguire was "fine and dandy". Two months before the murder, he had messaged a friend on Facebook saying of Mrs Maguire: "The one absolute f**king bitch that deserves more than death, more than pain torture and more than anything that we can understand". A bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey was taken into the school by Cornick on the day of the murders, in his words: "to celebrate". Finally to top it all off, he was quoted saying that he "couldn't give a shit about the impact on her family".
The comments he has made, and the displaying of a Grim Reaper on his Facebook page, just go to show that all of this was premeditated. So I despair when delusional idiots, such as Penelope Gibbs, claim that sentencing a deranged psychopathic killer to life is "disproportionate" and that more emphasis should be placed on the offender's rehabilitation. Ms Gibbs says that the sentencing is way out of step with other European countries. If this is the case, then it proves that our legal system is by far superior to most legal systems on the continent, and that to compare sentencing is absurd.
This boy should spend the rest of his life in prison. Psychopaths like him cannot be rehabilitated into society and to suggest that they can puts more innocent people at risk. They need to be removed from everyday life. It is irresponsible for anybody to suggest leniency because of his age.