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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Matthew Weaver and Helen Pidd

Friends of boy killed outside Huddersfield school tell of sadness

Khayri McLean
Khayri McLean was described as a ‘wonderful student’ by his headteacher. Photograph: West Yorkshire police

Friends and teachers of a 15-year-old boy who was stabbed to death outside the gates of his school in Huddersfield have spoken of their sadness and devastation.

Andrew Fell, the headteacher of North Huddersfield Trust School said he was “completely devastated” by the death of Khayri McLean. and the school had “lost a wonderful student from our school community”.

A 16-year-old boy from the town was arrested on suspicion of murder just after 5am on Thursday, West Yorkshire police said. He remains in custody as a murder investigation continues.

Khayri was treated at the scene and taken to Leeds General Infirmary for emergency surgery, police said. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Fell said in a statement to parents: “This is truly shocking news for our pupils, your children and our staff. We will be providing specialist support for any among our community who feel they could benefit.”

Friends gathered outside the school on Thursday to leave tributes as a police cordon remained in place. Sherrin James, who said she was the mother of the victim’s girlfriend, said her daughter had described him as “the perfect boy”. James, who left flowers at the scene, said her daughter had been the boy’s girlfriend for about eight months.

The scene in Huddersfield after the incident on Wednesday afternoon.
The scene in Huddersfield after the incident on Wednesday afternoon. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/PA

James said the pair were “literally inseparable”, adding: “He was her first proper boyfriend. She absolutely adored him and he absolutely adored her. She said he was perfect.”

Khayri had messaged her daughter shortly before the incident, saying he “had had a good day at school and couldn’t wait to see her”. James said her daughter is “heartbroken”, adding: “I can’t even describe it. She’s just in bits.”

Another pupil, Alfie Wilkinson, said he saw the aftermath of the attack and described Khayri as “a very popular kid”.

He said: “I saw him lying on the floor and then one of my teachers started giving him chest compressions to keep him alive and covering the wound.

“He thought it was a normal school day, going to school and then he came out and got stabbed. He didn’t even get to go home and tell his mum how his day was, and that shouldn’t happen to anyone.”

Marc Bowes, the senior investigating officer, said that although their investigation was at an early stage, police had identified a number of witnesses.

He added: “We recognise that an incident of this nature will cause understandable shock and concern in the community, and we are working closely alongside our colleagues at Kirklees district, who are increasing their presence in the area to reassure people and keep them updated as our investigation progresses.

“We have already identified a number of witnesses to the incident itself, but would still like to hear from anyone who has any information that could assist the investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or online at, quoting crime reference 13220521713.

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