The teenage killer of Katie Rough has admitted she believed the seven-year-old schoolgirl was ‘a robot’.
Appearing via video link at Leeds Crown Court, the young woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – yesterday confessed to manslaughter on account of diminished responsibility.
A selective mute, the accused remained silent throughout the hearing, communicating her manslaughter plea through writing.
The plea was accepted and the charge of murder dropped in light of substantial psychiatric evidence.
The ‘extremely troubled’ defendant was only fifteen when she led Katie to a playing field in Acomb, York in January.
It was here that she suffocated the child before slitting her throat and cutting open her stomach to see if she was ‘real’.
She then rang 999 for assistance at around the same time Katie’s parents began their desperate search after the little girl went missing after school.
Despite heroic attempts by a police officer to resuscitate her, Katie later died from her injuries at York hospital.
The teenage killer had been under the care of mental health experts for a year prior to the murder and her psychotic and delusional state was known.
A full psychiatric assessment had been requested, but sadly was never followed through, and she has since been diagnosed as having a ‘schizo-type personality disorder’.
The court heard details to suggest authorities had failed to recognise the threat posed by the defendant, with defending lawyer Nicholas Johson QC saying the ‘increasing severity’ of her mental health issues should have been a greater cause for concern.
The teenager previously told school counsellors she believed the Rough family ‘may not be human’ and were being ‘controlled by a higher and hostile force’ and it was discovered she also planned to kill Katie’s mother Alison after violent drawings were found at her home.
Just 48 hours before the murder she uploaded a distressing photograph to Instagram showing her crying with deep self-inflicted cuts to her arms. The caption read: “Mentally seriously not ok.”
Our thoughts are with the family and friends who have been affected by this truly devastating crime.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.