Leeds & West Yorkshire

Garforth killings: Schools 'devastated' by mother and daughter deaths

Sarah and Abigail Laycock
Image caption Sarah Laycock and her daughter Abigail were found dead at their home

Two schools have spoken of their shock at the deaths of a mother and her eight-year-old daughter at their home in West Yorkshire at the weekend.

Sarah Laycock, 31, was deputy head teacher at Wheldon Infant School, Castleford. Her daughter, Abigail, was a pupil at Ninelands Primary, Garforth.

Jillian Sabourn, head teacher at Ninelands Primary, said the school was "devastated" at Abigail's death.

A man remains in custody on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

The arrested man has been named locally as Ms Laycock's partner John Miller.

'Role model'

Police found the bodies during a search of a house on Kirkby Avenue, Garforth, on Saturday.

A four-year-old girl was also found injured at the property. She was taken to Leeds General Infirmary and was discharged after treatment.

Mrs Sabourn said Abigail had been an "absolute delight" as a pupil at Ninelands Primary.

"Abigail was clever, enthusiastic, hard working in every aspect of her work and a role model for other children," she said.

"She particularly enjoyed PE and dance. Abigail was a thoughtful child who would regularly help other children."

A spokesman for Leeds City Council's children's services said educational psychologists had been at Ninelands Primary School since early on Monday morning, working alongside the head teacher to support staff and pupils.

'Difficult time'

Tracey Lake, head teacher at Wheldon Infant School, said the school was "extremely shocked and saddened" by the death of her deputy Ms Laycock.

"Sarah was a much-loved part of this school community and was highly respected by her colleagues and all the children. Her loss will be deeply felt throughout the school," she said.

"The school is a very close-knit community and we will all pull together to help each other at this very difficult time."

The school's prayers were with Ms Laycock's family and friends, she added.

Wakefield Council's chief executive, Joanne Roney, said: "This is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and sympathies are with family members, friends, and colleagues at this distressing time.

"We will do all that we can to support both staff and pupils at the school."

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