A schoolboy, who murdered his teacher during a Spanish class, plotted to stab his head of year in the throat and knife a pregnant teacher in the stomach to kill her unborn baby.
Pulp Fiction-obsessed Will Cornick, now 19, is serving a minimum 20-year sentence for stabbing Ann Maguire during a Spanish lesson at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, West Yorkshire in 2014.
Her family hope a full inquest into her death will reveal details about the lead-up to her death with a view to preventing similar school attacks in the future.
But the killer’s father, Ian Cornick, insists his son ‘very much regrets what he did and is desperate to find a route to get better’.
Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard Cornick showed fellow pupils a 13-inch long knife and boasted of his plot to attack Mrs Maguire before he stabbed her eight times during her Spanish class.
An inquest jury heard that Cornick, who was 15 when he murdered Mrs Maguire, 61, at the college on Monday, April 28, 2014, intended to go on to stab pregnant teacher Sinead Miley (right) in the stomach to kill the baby and stab head of year Andrew Kellett in the throat
Shelagh Connor (left) and Denise Courtney (right), Ann Maguire’s sisters arrive at court
He also pulled out a bottle of Jack Daniels whisky, which was alongside the kitchen knife in his red No Fear rucksack, and said ‘it’s like a party.’
An inquest jury heard that Cornick, who was 15 when he murdered Mrs Maguire, 61, at the college on Monday, April 28, 2014, intended to go on to stab pregnant teacher Sinead Miley in the stomach to kill the baby and stab head of year Andrew Kellett in the throat.
Despite more than ten students knowing Cornick was armed and had alcohol, none told teachers – either fearing Cornick would harm them or believing the threats to be a joke.
None of the pupils can be named and must be identified by their initials.
KK sat next to Cornick in English, the first lesson of the day. He had heard Cornick was carrying a knife and wanted to see for himself.
‘He showed me the knife and he smiled and pulled out a bottle of Jack Daniels and said “it’s like a party, party drink”,’ said KK.
‘He was saying how he was going to stab Mrs Maguire and go on and kill Mr Kellett and attack Miss Miley as well. He said he knew how to do it because he had been studying the human body.
‘He’d looked at the human body and how to kill people fast so he could go from Mrs Maguire to Miss Miley and Mr Kellett.
Ann Maguire’s husband Don Maguire (left) and Stephen Moat, headteacher, and teacher Andrew Kellett (right) arrive at court today
Don and Emma Maguire, the husband and daughter of murdered teacher Ann Maguire, at Wakefield Coroner’s Court to hear the inquest into her death yesterday
Denise Courtney, Mrs Maguire’s sister, is also attending the inquest. In a TV interview this weekend she said she had lost her ‘best friend and confidante’ when her sister was killed
‘He was going to stab Miss Miley in the stomach because she was pregnant and wanted to kill the baby instead of her, and stab Mr Kellett in the throat because he wanted to go to prison.’
Emma Conway, who taught Will Cornick art and design for three years, until the murder on 28 April gave her evidence via Skype link from Northern Ireland.
She said one pupil, JW, had approached her immediately after the murder. She said: ‘He did not tell me before it happened.’
She said he was shaking and told her ‘He (Cornick) had threatened to get us, all of us, if we said anything.’
She told the jury sitting at Wakefield Coroner’s Court that Ann Maguire was a ‘well liked’ and a ‘mother figure’ to students.
Mrs Conway described Will Cornick as a very creative artist, but he was quiet and ‘he would hide behind his hair.’
‘He reminded me or an awkward teenage boy, he was very quiet,’ she told the inquest.
‘He didn’t project himself or necessarily want attention.’
The family have campaigned for more information about the killing so lessons can be learned
She also had dealing with Cornick in her role in the school’s Duke of Edinburgh scheme.
Cornick had been disappointed when he was unable to go on the expedition element of the scheme following an operation to remove an ingrowing toenail.
‘He was very obviously annoyed with that and it was the most emotional I had seen him,’ she said.
She discovered Cornick had been drinking alcohol at a weekend and had fallen over, grazing his arm.
Mrs Conway reported the matter to Chris Fletcher, a child protection officer at Corpus Christi Catholic College said he ‘knew of the situation’.
Mrs Conway said: ‘I taught Will for three years and I personally had no sense, no idea, and it still haunts me and still shocks me that he would do something so horrific.
‘It clearly had a negative impact on my future. I feel I cannot predict any longer any student.
‘For him to turn round and become so incomprehensibly violent is something that terrifies me.’
Mrs Maguire’s daughter Emma arrived at the hearing with her father yesterday morning
The inquest heard that the school had no written ‘no knives’ policy and teachers assumed pupils would know not to.
Head of English Marie Coleman had taught Cornick for the first period that morning, when he had been producing the knife and bottle of whisky, and telling pupils of his intentions.
She had to leave the classroom for ten minutes to deal with a teachers absence and did not know what Cornick had been doing.
‘If that happened I have no knowledge of it and the lesson was quite normal when I was there,’ she told the inquest.
She said why students failed to inform teachers was ‘unfathomable’.
‘I have no idea why they didn’t report it,’ she said.
A statement by Ian Cornick, the teenager’s father, was also read out during the inquest.
Mr Cornick said he tries to visit his son in prison once a month.
‘I find that he is scared and feels isolated in prison,’ he said.
‘He has told me that he very much regrets what he did and is desperate to find a route to get better.”
Mr Cornick said that his son ‘struggles to express his emotions’ and only really trusts his family.
He said he has repeatedly gone over the events of April 28 2014, when his son was 15, and said: ‘I cannot point to anything that could have forewarned anybody of what was to happen.’
He added: ‘There was simply nothing I could point to in Will’s demeanour prior to that Monday which helps me understand in any way what happened.’
Mr Cornick, who is divorced from his son’s mother, Michelle Leadbeatter, said he spent the weekend immediately before the tragedy on the Monday morning with his son and said it was ‘exceptionally ordinary’ and ‘unremarkable’.
Mr Cornick said his son did play violent video games, like his older brother.
But he said: ‘Both knew the difference between fantasy and reality’.
He said he believes his son’s personality changed after he was diagnosed with type one diabetes in 2010. He said Will became more introverted after that news.
Cornick’s mother, Mrs Leadbeatter, said in her statement: ‘Our meetings now have moved on from when he was a 15-year-old child.
‘We can talk more and more about what he did, his understanding of what he did, of its importance and remorse for his actions.’
Both Cornick’s parents talked about a meeting they attended at school after he had got into trouble for missing a detention and had told them how much he disliked doing Spanish.
They said his relationship with Mrs Maguire had broken down.
Mrs Leadbeatter said that the school gave her son an internal exclusion but they asked for him not to be left alone due to his type one diabetes.
They also asked that Mrs Maguire was not left to discuss anything with him alone as the relationship was bad.
Mrs Leadbeatter said: ‘I did not mean for one instance that he would be violent or anything.’
Mrs Leadbeatter said she left for a holiday a week before the incident, but said that ‘even with hindsight’ there was nothing in her son’s demeanour just before she left that could have given her concern.
She said in her statement that, at one point, her son told her: ‘I can’t stand Mrs Maguire’ and she recorded this in her diary.
Mrs Leadbeatter said she was concerned that her son was not getting access to the treatment he needs due to his Category A prisoner status.
On Monday, Detective Superintendent Nick Wallen, from West Yorkshire Police, told Wakefield Coroners’ Court that Cornick had shown no remorse during his officers’ dealings with him.
Cornick was jailed for life for Mrs Maguire’s murder and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years in custody.
The inquest continues.