A 15-year old girl appeared in a British court Wednesday, charged with what appears to be the senseless slashing death of a 7-year old girl who was playing in a field minutes from her home.
Katie Rough, 7, was less than a mile from her York, England home when she was found injured with knife slashes around her neck and chest, according to the BBC. She was later pronounced dead. No motive for the killing has been released to the public.
“We are all just absolutely devastated,” Katie’s aunt Sarah Nockels, 37, told the Daily Mirror. “We just need to be given time to grieve.”
The unidentified teenage defendant appeared in court flanked by two security guards. The gray sweatshirt clad teen with long dark hair said nothing during the eight-minute hearing. She stared straight ahead as her legal representative answered questions about her name and address. She is scheduled to appear in court again Friday.
The teenager was charged with the girl’s death and possession of an offensive weapon.
Witnesses at the scene told the Daily Mirror how Katie’s mother, identified as Alison Rough, fell to her knees in the street, crying and pleading for help when she saw her injured daughter.
Katie Rough attended Westfield Primary School. Professional emotional support is offered to her schoolmates and community members.
“Katie was a kind and thoughtful child who was well liked by both pupils and staff,” Headteacher Tracey Ralph said. “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.”
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,” reported the Daily Mirror.
The investigation into the death continues.