Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
alert-–-headteacher-pays-tribute-to-‘popular’-schoolgirl,-14,-found-stabbed-to-death-at-darlington-home-–-as-her-parents-are-charged-with-murderAlert – Headteacher pays tribute to ‘popular’ schoolgirl, 14, found stabbed to death at Darlington home – as her parents are charged with murder

A headteacher has described a 14-year-old girl who was fatally stabbed at her home as ‘lovely, respectful and polite girl’ who was always ‘immaculately turned out’.

Scarlett Vickers died on 5 July sparking an outpouring of sorrow from those who knew her, including her headteacher Su Gill at Haughton Academy School, in Darlington. 

‘Scarlett was a lovely girl and an important member of the Haughton Academy community,’ Ms Gill said. ‘She was always immaculately turned out, respectful and polite. 

‘A very friendly girl, with a great sense of humour, she was popular with her friends and will be greatly missed by everyone at school.’

Scarlett’s parents Simon Vickers, 49, and Sarah Hall, 44, appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Monday accused of murdering her.

The statement continued: ‘A very friendly girl with a great sense of humour, she was popular with her friends and will be greatly missed by everyone at school.

‘Staff and pupils at Haughton Academy and the Education Village Academy Trust are extremely saddened by the news and we would like to pass on our thoughts to everyone affected by this tragedy.

‘The Trust is working hard to support pupils and staff through this very difficult time.’

Haughton Academy said students and parents can bring flowers to the school to lay at a memorial space on its main site.

The school said: ‘This is a very difficult time for us all but we know we can get through it by coming together as a strong community and by remembering Scarlett in our own ways.’

Scarlett suffered a ‘single stab wound to the chest’ and was found fatally injured at a house in, Darlington, County Durham, by the emergency services shortly after 11pm.

She was pronounced dead at the semi-detached property after succumbing to a single stab wound to the chest, a court heard today.

The defendants, both of Geneva Road, Darlington, appeared dressed in grey police-issue sweatshirts and trousers, speaking only to confirm their names and dates of birth.

Sarah Kemp, prosecuting, at Newton Aycliffe magistrates court, said: ‘There was an incident at the home address in Darlington resulting in the fatal stabbing of Scarlett, the 14-year-old daughter of both defendants.

‘She suffered a single knife wound to the chest resulting in her death. This is not a matter that can be dealt with here and I ask the case be sent to the crown court.’

District Judge Steven Hudd told Vickers and Hall: ‘The offence of murder is one which can only be heard at crown court. I am sending your case to Teesside Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on August 5.’

He said if either defendant wished to make a bail application they would be able to do so on Wednesday, but both were remanded in custody in the meantime. 

Neighbours previously spoke of their ‘utter shock’ after Scarlett’s death, with heartbroken friends leaving floral tributes outside the house where she was killed.

It is claimed that Scarlett lived with her father Simon, who works for the 3M manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe, mother Sarah, who doesn’t work, and the family dog, Buster.

One message left by a friend outside her house said: ‘To Scarlett. Rest easy sweet girl, we all love and miss you. Sleep well from Demi and Lexi.’

A neighbour said: ‘It’s hard to take in because they are such a normal family. Simon has a good job and his partner comes across as very pleasant as well, she would always smile and say hello.

‘It’s hard to imagine what could have happened for things to go as wrong as this.

‘There wasn’t any sign of trouble that night, the first anyone knew was when the police cars and ambulance arrived.’

Another neighbour said: ‘I spoke with Sarah earlier that day and it was the most normal conversation you could imagine, we were talking about shopping.

‘I used to see their daughter playing in the garden, they’ve always seemed like a completely normal, pleasant family. It’s such a shock that a young girl’s life has been lost in that way.

Detective Superintendent Craig Rudd, Senior Investigating Officer at Durham Constabulary, said in a statement on Sunday: ‘This incident has resulted in the tragic death of a young girl, and our thoughts are with her family and friends.

‘I would like to thank the local community for their patience and co-operation while investigative work is still being carried out at the scene, and to reassure residents that we believe this to be an isolated incident.’

A North East Ambulance Service spokesperson said: ‘We received a call at 22.46 on Friday, July 5 to an incident at a private address on Geneva Road in Darlington.

‘We sent five resources in total including a doctor and a specialist paramedic. Police also attended the scene.’

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