A 14-year-old boy who stabbed his supply teacher in Bradford in a row over a mobile phone as other pupils watched will be sentenced later this year.
The teenager, who cannot be named, denied attempting to murder Vincent Uzomah at Dixons Kings Academy. But he admitted a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent – a plea that prosecutors at Bradford Crown Court said they accepted.
Mr Uzomah had been teaching at the school for only a few weeks when he was attacked by the teenager as the lesson began at the start of the school day on 11 June. It is understood that the defendant argued with the teacher over a mobile phone after Mr Uzomah asked him to hand it over.
During the confrontation, the 50-year-old teacher was stabbed once in the stomach by the teenager, who immediately fled the school grounds, scaling a fence. The weapon was a kitchen knife the boy had brought from home. The boy was arrested by police in the city centre after a six-hour search – a move caught on mobile phone video by bystanders.
The boy sat in the dock flanked by two security guards and was wearing blue jeans, grey shirt and black puffa-style jacket. He said "yes, sir" when he confirmed his name and spent much of the rest of the 11-minute hearing with his head bowed.
No details of the stabbing incident were mentioned in court but Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said: "This is a very troubling case." He added that the boy was "undoubtedly a very troubled young man" and said Mr Uzomah was "a very brave and compassionate victim".
Judge Durham Hall said a psychiatric report and a pre-sentence report needed to be prepared before sentencing could take place. He agreed with the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to proceed with a charge of attempted murder, saying it would be very difficult to prove the defendant had an intention to kill.
As the boy left the dock the judge thanked him. He said: "Your plea has been noted, very proper, at a very early stage. Thank you." The boy was watched by two members of his family from the public gallery as he was led away. The teenager was remanded in custody by Judge Durham Hall and will be sentenced later this year, probably in August.
Mr Uzomah was not in court. After the incident at the school the teacher was taken to hospital but released a few days later following surgery. He later issued a statement thanking people for their support.
The attack on Mr Uzomah took place only 15 miles from Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds, where veteran Spanish teacher Ann Maguire was stabbed to death in April last year. Will Cornick was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years before he is considered for release for murdering the 61-year-old teacher when he was 15.