Pupil who lunged at teacher with knife is spared custody

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A SOUTH Tyneside school pupil who lunged at a teacher with a knife told magistrates “I’m sorry for what I did” – after being spared custody.

The 14-year-old had been removed from a cookery class and taken to a “cooling off” room, when he picked up a cutlery knife and thrust it towards the teacher, narrowly missing his neck.

The teacher restrained the pupil by grabbing him by the wrist and taking the weapon from him.

The teenager – who cannot be named for legal reasons – was asked by the teacher if he had thrust the knife at him for show, and replied: “I would do it again. I won’t miss next time.”

He admitted a charge of threatening a person at school premises when he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Youth Court earlier this month.

The threat happened at a borough school on April 30 – just two days after teacher Ann Maguire was stabbed to death by a pupil at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds.

The boy was back at court yesterday for sentencing after a report on him was compiled by the Youth Justice Service.

The pupil was given a 12-month youth rehabilitation order with an intensive supervision and surveillance requirement, as well as a two-month, electronically-monitored curfew.

Paul Kennedy, defending, said that the youngster had been removed from a class for being disruptive and put in a re-engagement room, where children are meant to be left alone to calm down.

However, when a teacher heard noise coming from inside the room, he went in to find out what was happening.

Mr Kennedy said: “This is a young man not without difficulties.

“What appears to have happened is someone else had been in the re-engagement room before him, and, when they had calmed down, had something to eat, and a plate, knife and fork was in the room.

“The teacher has come in the room and he asked him to leave.

“He has picked up the knife and made a movement towards the teacher. He accepts that.

“There was no physical contact and no injuries caused.”

Police were called after the pupil was disarmed, and he was arrested.

The pupil has since left the school.

When asked by magistrates about his thoughts on the case, the pupil said: “I’m sorry for what I did.”

Dave Errington, chairman of the magistrates, said: “By threatening a school teacher with a knife while in a fit of temper and also repeating that threat verbally, we believe this crosses the custody threshold.

“But we have listened to the personal mitigation from your defence solicitor and have decided to give you a youth rehabilitation order, with intensive supervision and surveillance.

“We can’t have this behaviour in society. You are one step short from custody. You were very, very close to custody.”

The order will include 91 days of intensive supervision and surveillance, which incorporates the curfew and the offender working with the Youth Justice Service on the root causes of their offending.

Compensation of £50 must also be paid to the teacher.

The curfew will run from 9pm until 6am for the first month and from 10pm until 6am for the second month.

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris