Teenage boy sentenced for stabbing teacher at Tewkesbury school

Jamie Sansom suffered a single stab wound to the stomach Credit: Tewkesbury Academy/PA

A teenager who stabbed a teacher in a school corridor has been sent to youth detention for 14 months.

The 15-year-old boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had previously admitted attempting to unlawfully and maliciously wound maths teacher Jamie Sansom.

The boy had also earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing a bladed article following the attack on July 10 this year at Tewkesbury Academy in Gloucestershire.

Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard the youth had put on a snood and a hooded top to cover his face and taken a six-inch kitchen knife from his home.

Before confronting Mr Sansom he had told a friend to “wait until period one” and dialled 999 to inform them a teacher at the school would be stabbed.

Twekesbury School on the day of the incident

A few minutes later, the teenager knocked on the door of a classroom where Mr Sansom was working with pupils.

The teacher opened it and the boy told him “Come here.”

The court heard Mr Sansom noticed the knife, measuring about six inches long.

Prosecutor Christine Hart said: "[The boy] said ''I'm sorry' and moved towards him in a stabbing motion. Mr Sansom felt the knife and asked him ‘What are you doing?’."

As the boy fled, the teacher told colleagues he had been stabbed and was taken to an office where an ambulance was called. 

Mr Sansom suffered a single stab wound to the stomach.

The academy and two neighbouring schools were locked down by police after the attacker ran from the scene. He was later arrested.

News of what had happened spread quickly through the community. The court heard one classroom was barricaded closed for four hours with pupils inside.

The teenager’s mother contacted her son and asked him to give himself up.

He apologised to her and said: “Goodbye forever, but remember I always loved you guys. Tell everybody I love them.”

At about 11am, a local primary school reported that someone was trying to get through its gates and a short time later the police located the boy about five miles from the academy.

Firearms officers challenged the boy, who dropped the knife, and he was arrested.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Sansom, who taught maths at the school since 2017 but has now left to teach elsewhere, told the court: "I never expected this to happen in a school, let alone to me. I thought I might have been in some sort of soap opera. I didn't have time to react.

"I don't know what the reason was for this. I have been thinking about this and can't figure it out. I hold no ill will towards him for what happened. I do think he needs to know the impact of what he's done. I hope he gets the support he needs."

Of the lasting impact of the attack, Mr Sansom explained: "I second guess things when out in society. I worry about groups wearing hoods. I worry if this is going to happen again in a school environment."

The school was placed on lockdown for several hours

Defending, James McKella, said the boy's mental health was poor at the time and that he had suicidal thoughts.

The boy had an intermediary beside him in the dock to help him understand the proceedings. His parents sat in court listening, hand in hand. 

The judge said he would serve half the sentence in custody with the remainder at home working with the youth offending team.

Imposing the order, District Judge Lynne Matthews told the defendant: “You were not acting impulsively.

“You took the face covering to school, you took the knife to school.

“You told a friend what was going to happen and you told the emergency services.

“Nothing strikes me about it that was impulsive.”

Replying to district judge Lynne Matthews, the boy said he wanted to say 'I'm sorry' to Mr Sansom. He agreed he would write a letter to his victim to apologise.