A WOMAN has been charged with the murder of teenager Casey-Lyanne Kearney who was stabbed to death in Elmfield Park in Doncaster on Tuesday.
Police have confirmed Hannah Bonser, 26, of Cusworth House, Doncaster, has been charged with the 13-year-olds murder.
Bonser, who has a history of mental illness, is also charged with two counts of possessing a knife and will appear before Doncaster magistrates this morning.
Casey-Lyanne Kearney, aged 13, died eight hours after phoning police herself on her own mobile phone from Elmfield Park in Doncaster to say she had been stabbed. She had just got off a bus and may have been walking through the park when she was attacked.
The murder has tragic parallels with the Emma Brodie case in Doncaster more than 20 years ago.
Emma, 11, was stabbed to death while shopping in the Frenchgate Centre in 1991. Her mentally ill killer, Carole Barratt, 24, was later sent to Rampton Hospital.
Police commander Peter Norman said the Elmfield Park attack appeared to be ‘an isolated, random and unprovoked incident’.
Acting Chief Superintendent Norman has had meetings with social and mental health services to establish the background of Bonson, who was arrested shortly after the killing. Doncaster Council chief executive, Jo Miller, said: “We are deeply saddened by this tragic event and our thoughts are very much with family and friends. The person in custody was known to a number of local public agencies and we are working together to establish all the circumstances.”
Although two knives were recovered after the stabbing, police were still combing the park and surrounding area yesterday.
At the moment they do not know exactly where Casey-Lyanne was attacked.
She left her home in the village of Rossington at about 12noon on Tuesday and caught the number 55 bus to meet a friend. At 1.18pm she called police.
Tennis coach John Willis, who was in the park, also raised the alarm and helped until paramedics arrived. He said: “We didn’t know what had happened. The kids said she was walking normally, then hunched over as though she was looking for some keys in a bag.
“Paramedics had only been there a minute when they asked for everyone to make some room. It was then we knew she had been stabbed. It all felt very surreal but the full horror of what has happened is beginning to sink in.”
Det Supt Terry Mann said staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary ‘worked tirelessly to save her but tragically Casey-Lyanne lost her fight for life’. A post-mortem examination was taking place last night.
Mr Mann said Casey-Lyanne came from a loving family and added: “As you can imagine the death of a 13-year-old child has left them traumatised.”
Catherine Brown, head teacher at McAuley Catholic High School, said staff and fellow pupils had been ‘shocked and saddened’ to hear about the teenager’s death.
She added: “Casey was a valued member of her form and year group and will be sadly missed by friends, pupils and staff.
“We are all thinking of her family and friends at this time.”
Ms Brown said pupils arriving back at school on Monday would be given ‘appropriate support’.