Leeds & West Yorkshire

Ann Maguire family describe 'loving natural mother'

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Media captionAnn Maguire's family have spoken for the first time about her death, as Danny Savage reports

The family of a teacher stabbed to death at a school in Leeds have described her as a "dedicated wife" and "natural mother".

Ann Maguire, 61, was fatally stabbed in her classroom at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds in April.

A 15-year-old boy is due to go on trial later this year accused of her murder.

Mrs Maguire's family have spoken for the first time, in an interview with the BBC, ahead of a public memorial service at Leeds Town Hall on Monday.

Her husband, Don, 62, said he hoped the service, organised by Leeds City Council and the Roman Catholic diocese of Leeds, would reflect her life and the kind of person she was.

Image copyright Maguire family
Image caption Ann Maguire had taught at Corpus Christi College for 40 years

"She was a beautiful, dedicated, hard working individual, so I hope that and the fact she had a very strong faith is reflected in this service."

'Wonderful teacher'

Mrs Maguire, who had two daughters and had raised her two nephews, had taught at the college for 40 years and had been due to retire this year.

Following her death many tributes were placed outside the school by past and present pupils.

Mr Maguire said: "I remember the very empty hollow sick feeling inside and reading those messages made us feel so comforted and so able to understand others were feeling the pain as well."

He added he had received a great deal of solace from them and "treasured" the tributes and messages.

Andrew Poole, one of two nephews raised by Mrs Maguire, said: "If one message came through it was always about Ann's dedication to her students and her willingness to go the extra mile for any one individual student."

One daughter, Emma, said: "I think what we took away was that we have so many of our own stories and memories of mummy and we are so grateful people chose to share theirs."

Image caption Mr Maguire described his late wife as a "beautiful and dedicated" individual

Mr Maguire said: "Ann was a very loving dedicated wife and a natural mother and it was her natural mothering qualities that I think made Ann such a wonderful teacher."

The family have established a charity, The Ann Maguire Arts Educational Fund, to provide bursaries and funding for the personal development of people under 18 years of age.

It has already raised more than £20,000.

Her daughters, Kerry and Emma, said: "Mum had a special talent for developing opportunities for young people and we hope the charity will do the same.

"We really want mummy's legacy to encompass everything she did in her work and the person she was to so many people.

"She taught for 40 years and affected thousands of pupils' lives and we feel her legacy should be something that continues this work and what she gave to people."

The memorial service at Leeds Town Hall, which hundreds of people are expected to attend, is due to start at 12:00 BST on Monday. A minute's silence will take place at 12.30, which schools across the city are set to take part in.

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