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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Helen Pidd North of England editor

Boy, 12, to stand trial over killing of Sheffield social worker Marcia Grant

Marcia Grant
Marcia Grant was described by her family as a ‘pillar of the community’. Photograph: South Yorkshire police/PA

A 12-year-old boy will stand trial for murder, accused of killing the Sheffield social worker Marcia Grant by running over her with her own car.

He becomes one of the youngest children to be prosecuted for murder in Britain in about 30 years and will stand trial in August or October.

The boy, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared at Sheffield crown court on Tuesday.

During the 20-minute hearing he spoke only to confirm that he understood what the judge was telling him and did not enter any pleas. He is also charged with possession of a knife.

The boy was remanded into secure youth custody and ordered to return to court for a further hearing on 5 May.

Normally anyone under 18 is dealt with at the youth court, but with offences as serious as murder, youth cases transfer to the adult crown court.

In recognition of the boy’s age, the barristers and judge in the case did not wear their wigs or gowns. He appeared behind the bullet-proof glass of the dock, flanked by four security guards.

Wearing a mustard-brown tracksuit, the boy leaned back to look up at journalists in the public gallery.

He is accused of killing Grant on Wednesday night outside her home in the Greenhill area of Sheffield, on the edge of the Peak District.

Judge Richardson KC, the recorder of Sheffield, said it was important the trial took place as soon as possible, given the “exceptionally serious” offences the boy faces.

The trial will either take place on 14 August or 3 October, depending on the availability of lawyers, Richardson told the boy.

In a tribute released through South Yorkshire police, Grant’s family said: “Marcia was a warm, loving and dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend and a pillar of her community. Her loss has already sent shockwaves through all who knew her or was lucky enough to be included in her orbit.”

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