Teenage schoolgirl charged with attempted murder after stabbing

A teenage schoolgirl has been charged with attempted murder after a stabbing at a school in Wales.

Pupils at Amman Valley School, also known as Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, in Carmarthenshire went into lockdown just after 11.20am on Wednesday after the stabbing at the end of morning break.

Two teachers and a pupil were hurt in the incident but have now been released from hospital.

A 13-year-old girl has now been charged with three counts of attempted murder, Superintendent Ross Evans, of Dyfed-Powys Police, said.

He remains in custody, Mr Evans said.

Police executed a warrant at the boy’s home, in the nearby Cross Hands area, and recovered a BB gun.

Mr Evans said: “While this investigation is being run separately to our inquiries into events at the school, our officers are seeking to establish if there was a connection between the alleged offences.

“Again, I would urge people not to speculate, not to share any images or videos relating to either investigation, and to allow us to carry out our inquiries fully.”

Michael Cray, senior crown prosecutor of CPS Cymru-Wales said: “The youth has been remanded in custody to appear before Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Friday April 26 2024.”

One of the teachers injured in the attack has been named as Fiona Elias, the head of year seven, by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman.

The second adult is reported to be Liz Hopkin, a special needs teacher.

Forensic investigators at Amman Valley school
Forensic investigators at Amman Valley School (Ben Birchall/PA)

While online lessons will continue, the school will stay closed for in-person teaching on Friday, Carmarthenshire County Council has said.

“Criminal proceedings are active, and the defendant has the right to a fair trial.”

Darrel Campbell, the teacher who restrained the alleged Ammanford school attacker, does not think of himself as a hero, his brother has insisted.

Mr Campbell disarmed the alleged attacker and put her in an armlock ahead of emergency services arriving at the school.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Cefin Campbell, the Senedd member for Mid and West Wales, said: “He’s embarrassed by all the attention that he’s had, he certainly doesn’t consider himself a hero in any way.

“He just told me he just did what most people would have done – he acted instinctively, he saw the danger and took action.

“He really wants to play down anything more than just being a normal citizen, albeit a teacher in a school facing a very challenging situation.”

Mr Campbell, who has worked at the school for around 40 years, officially retired last year but was brought back on a part-time basis to help provide pastoral care.

Both he and his brother attended the school as pupils.

The south-west Wales school went into lockdown after a “code red” alarm sounded through the PA system, during which students and staff are said to have hidden in classrooms – with one pupil reportedly vaulting the school fence to get to safety.

The lockdown lasted around four hours between 11.20am and 3.20pm, resulting in a lengthy and anxious wait for parents who were seen tearfully hugging their children after they walked through the gates.

Mr Campbell said there would be questions asked in the Senedd about security in schools across Wales.

“Let’s hope it’s a one off, but you just don’t know the way the society has changed. We have to ask questions about the way we move forward,” he told BBC Radio Wales.

“We certainly don’t want to go down the route of America but there are parts of the UK where bags are checked every day, there’s metal detectors, as well as random checks by police.

“None of us want to go down that road but we’ve just obviously got to ask questions. What lessons can we learn from this?”

Amman Valley School – a bilingual comprehensive school for pupils aged between 11 and 18 – is maintained by Carmarthenshire County Council and provides education to 1,450 school pupils, in addition to 270 sixth form students.

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