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LATEST - Teenager who killed Katie Rough given life sentence

Katie Rough

1:07pm 24th November 2017
(Updated 4:22pm 24th November 2017)

A 16-year-old girl who killed seven-year-old Katie Rough in a York park has been given a life sentence for manslaughter and ordered to be detained for a minimum of five years.

The teenager admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility at a previous hearing, and appeared by video link at Leeds Crown Court today as Katie's family looked on.

Mr Justice Soole told her: "The gravity of the offence of killing a small child speaks for itself. The level of danger to the public is high.

"In the circumstances of your continuing silence, the critical question is whether there is any reliable estimate as to how long that danger will continue."

Katie Rough died after she was smothered by the teen, who was 15 at the time, and then slashed with a Stanley knife in a park in York, in January.

She was found on a playing field with two severe cuts to her neck and chest, but the prosecutor said a post-mortem showed neither caused her death and that the little girl was smothered before the cuts were made.

Police recovered items from the scene and from the teenager's home, including drawings of stick men depicting killing and death.

Books, violent comics and a Simba toy that had its ears cut off and stuffed into its stomach were found in the teenager's bedroom.

Detective Chief Inspector Andrea Kell from North Yorkshire Police, the senior investigating officer in the case, said:

"This investigation has been one of the most tragic, and challenging, I have ever dealt with during my career as a police officer.

"There are no positive results from cases such as these.

"Regardless of the conviction and sentence, nothing will ever replace the loss of Katie .

"The lives of Paul and Alison Rough, and their wider family, have changed forever as a result of the devastating events which happened on Monday 9 January 2017.

"I hope today’s conclusion of the court proceedings, will allow the family to now focus on trying to re-build their lives.

"I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the emergency services personnel and all those who responded the night of Katie’s death.

"I would also like to recognise and praise the dedication and professionalism of the investigation team, who were faced with aspects of the investigation which were deeply distressing for all.

"Our thoughts remain with Katie’s parents and the entire Rough family."


LISTEN - Hear DCI Andrea Kell speaking outside court after the sentencing...



katie rough


Statement from the family of Katie Rough:

“Today is the end of a process, and that is a relief, but it is not the end of our story.

“Our story is about a loving home and family that was torn apart on a day when we lost our daughter.

“Our story goes on into a future where our home feels very empty, but we will keep going for sake of our other children and our grandson.

“We are so grateful for everyone who has helped us in these last months, including the whole community in York, who have been so generous with their kindness, their time and their money.

“We're especially thankful for the support of our closest family and friends – you know who you are.

“We’re very grateful as well to the many well-wishers who sponsored Paul and the other members of ‘Team Rough’ in the Great North Run in September. They have helped pay tribute to Katie’s memory by providing ten years’ worth of education and welfare for Pross and King, two Ugandan children of about her age.

“Our hopes for the future are for a loving and safe home for the rest of our family, and we hope we will now find the privacy for that to happen.

“Katie’s memory will live on in our hearts but also more widely, as a little girl who brought more colour to her world.

“You will find Katie’s memory in the flowers around the bench dedicated to her in the Museum Gardens in York; in the sculpture being made for Moorlands Nature Reserve; in the future we are helping to build for little King and Pross in Uganda, and above all in the strong community that has been such a support for us this year.

“Thank you."

Elizabeth Jenkins from the CPS said:

“This was an appalling crime which has caused Katie’s family unimaginable grief.

“The defendant pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Katie on the grounds of diminished responsibility and we accepted that plea after very careful consideration of the psychiatric reports.

“The defendant has today been sentenced to life with a minimum detention period of five years. Our thoughts remain with Katie’s family as they have been throughout.”


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