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16-year-old girl admits manslaughter of seven-year-old Katie Rough

Katie was found with severe lacerations to her neck and chest on a playing field in York in January.

A 16-year-old girl has admitted the manslaughter of seven-year-old Katie Rough.

The girl appeared by video link at Leeds Crown Court where she pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

Katie was found with severe lacerations to her neck and chest on a playing field in York in January and died later in hospital.

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The dark-haired girl appeared on the video link sat next to a solicitor and wearing a black hoodie.

Her solicitor confirmed her name when asked by the judge, Mr Justice Soole.

Nicholas Johnson QC, defending, asked the court if the charge of murder could be put to the girl again and she wrote her plea on a piece of paper.

Her solicitor told the court: “I can confirm she has indicated not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.”

Graham Reeds QC, prosecuting, said: “We are going to accept that plea of manslaughter by diminished responsibility.”

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Mr Reeds said the defendant has been subject to four psychiatric and psychological reports. He said there was no dispute that her mental health problems meant she was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time she killed Katie, even though the killing was pre-planned.

Mr Reeds told a judge sitting in a packed courtroom how the teenager was found in the street in York by a member of the public.

She told him Katie was dead and asked him where she was. The man then found Katie lying on a nearby piece of land with a cut to her neck. She appeared to have no pulse or signs of breathing, Mr Reeds told the court.

The prosecutor said a post-mortem examination showed Katie had two severe cuts to her body – one to her neck and the other to her torso – but neither caused her death. Mr Reeds said Katie had been smothered before the cuts were made.

Katie’s family were in court to hear the guilty plea by the defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

The judge, Mr Justice Soole, said he wanted more questions answering by the medical experts before he could pass sentence. He adjourned the case to a later date.

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From Belfast Telegraph