The fatal mistakes that let schoolboy kill Bailey

The Mail is claiming that “three fatal mistakes” allowed a teenager who carried a knife in his blazer pocket to stab a 16-year-old schoolboy to death.

As the youth was yesterday found guilty of killing Bailey Gwynne, new details emerged of the missed opportunities to stop the terrible chain of events.

Bailey died from a single stab wound to the heart following a fight at Cults Academy in Aberdeen on October 28 last year.

His 16-year-old attacker, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had denied murder but was convicted of culpable homicide at the High Court in Aberdeen.

Last night, it emerged that:

  • Parents warned education chiefs about Bailey’s killer after he attacked a pupil with a rock while at primary school.
  • The killer managed easily to circumvent internet giant Amazon’s over-18s rule on buying knives by having an illegal blade delivered to his mother’s garden shed.
  • When he was twice caught with a knife at school, the boy was only given a warning by the headteacher and no further disciplinary action was taken.

Last night, as Aberdeen City Council announced an independent review of the circumstances surrounding Bailey’s death, police said anyone discovering someone carrying a knife should always report the matter to them.

Detective Superintendent David McLaren, who led the investigation, said: ‘I think, taking this case aside, anyone who is finding anyone in possession of a knife should contact the police, I suggest.

‘It is a senseless decision to take a knife into a school setting. That has undoubtedly led to Bailey’s death.’

Aberdeen City Council refused to answer any questions on the boy’s previous knife incidents or on whether its existing policy towards knives in schools was robust enough.

More at: The fatal mistakes that let schoolboy kill Bailey: Teenager stood no chance as killer stabbed him with knife he carried in his blazer pocket


There will clearly be many questions asked now the case is complete but the bottom line seems to be that the argument between these boys that led to the fatal scuffle (described widely in the media today) was probably no different to ones that happen everyday in every school – but the presence of the knife and a willingness to use it changed everything.

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Categories: Safeguarding, Scotland, Secondary and Security.

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