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February 18, 2012 permalink
Think you don't have to worry about foster care when you don't have kids? When you're not in foster care yourself? Casey-Lyanne Carney had no contact with the child protection system, except that she was killed by one of its graduates. Hannah Bonser spent a decade in British foster homes. On February 14 she stabbed her victim chosen at random in a park.
Doncaster murder: park stabbing girl’s family face accused woman in court
The mother of 13-year-old stabbing victim Casey Kearney has paid an emotional tribute to her “beautiful and intelligent” daughter as her child's accused killer appeared in court.
Hannah Bonser, 26, appeared in court on Thursday charged with the murder of the teenager who was found stabbed to death in a park in Doncaster, South Yorks.
The teenager's parents released a statement describing their grief as losing a child with "her whole life ahead of her".
They said: "Losing Casey has been so painful words cannot begin to explain.
"She was the most beautiful, intelligent and bright young girl with her whole life ahead of her. We need time alone with family and friends to start to come to terms with our loss."
The teenager lived with her mother, Kelly Day and stepfather, Mark Day. Her natural father is Anthony Kearney, a mechanic.
Casey’s great aunt, Pamela Cullen, added: "She was a vibrant young 13-year-old girl that did everything 13-year-olds do. She would come home from school, she would cause no bother and she was just a beautiful girl."
Members of Casey’s family sat at the back of Court 1 at Doncaster Magistrates’ Court, some wiping away tears, as Bonser emerged handcuffed from a weighted door and shuffled into the glass-panelled dock a few feet away.
Bonser, mousy-haired and with a black tattoo on her left arm, was escorted into the courtroom by two security guards, one of them a woman.
In court she spoke in a whisper to confirm her name, address and date of birth, and to acknowledge the charges against her. For most of the hearing her head was bowed, her eyes gazing at the floor.
Bonser, of Doncaster, is charged with both murder and the possession of two knives. She was remanded in custody until February 23, when she is due to appear at Sheffield Crown Court.
Bonser’s brother Ben said that his sister had a difficult childhood in foster care after their mother died when she was nine.
Mr Bonser said the pair had been raised as Mormons in a happy home in Doncaster until the death of their mother, Roberta, at the age of 48.
Their father, Ronald, was too depressed to care for them, so they spent their teenage years being passed between foster families.
Mr Bonser said: "I am so bewildered that she has been arrested. I am devastated for that family."
Casey’s parents learned on Valentine’s Day that she had been fatally stabbed after catching a bus from Rossington so she could visit friends.
She was walking through Elmfield Park, Doncaster, when an assailant inflicted a single stab wound to her abdomen.
The teenager managed to dial 999 on her mobile before collapsing near a children’s play area. She died eight hours later in Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
Police have described the incident as a “random, isolated attack” and appealed for witnesses to come forward.
One of Casey’s friends, Alisha Leggot, recalled how she had repeatedly tried to make contact early on Tuesday afternoon.
“I rang a few times,” she told ITV News. “I left some voicemails to tell her to contact us because we were worried about her.
"But we knew what had gone off in the park and I think one of us literally had a feeling that something had gone wrong but I just didn't want to believe it.
"Everyone was saying it was Casey on Facebook and then I got in last night and turned on the news because we knew it would be on there. I saw Casey's picture and it just broke me. I don't really know what to do."
She later added: "Casey was amazing. She was there for us all when we needed her . She was just so nice."
Catherine Brown, the head of McAuley Catholic High School, said staff had been “shocked and saddened” to learn of 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.”
Thursday's proceedings in Court 1 lasted 15 minutes. Jill Seddons, prosecuting, told the bench how at 1.18pm on Tuesday Casey had dialled 999 to tell the operator: “I’ve just been stabbed”.
Moments later another voice came onto the phone, saying: “I’ve just come across this girl. I’m going to try to help her. Can you get the ambulance and the police?”
Medical staff tried in vain to save Casey’s life. She died after developing complications.
Elizabeth Atkinson, the chairman of the bench, told Bonser she was being remanded in custody pending a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on February 23. The defendant’s arms were hanging loosely at her side.
She glanced up briefly, then extended her right arm so the woman security officer could put the handcuffs back in place before leading her away.
Source: Telegraph (UK)