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Latest news 10.45am: Elmfield Park murder of Casey Lyanne Kearney in Doncaster

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A FACEBOOK tribute page in memory of Casey Lyanne Kearney has received nearly 10,000 members.

The R.I.P Casey Kearney group has been flooded with messages from friends as well as people from across the globe who never met the MacAuley Catholic High School pupil.

Chris Taylor, said: “Knew Casey in her first year at primary school through the ‘buddy’ scheme..she was a lovely girl & it was a privilege to have known you for that short time..rest in peace x”

Hannah Bonser, 26, of Cusworth House in St James’ Street, Balby Bridge, has been charged with Casey’s murder and two counts of possessing a bladed article.

Casey, 13, of Rossington, died in Doncaster Royal Infirmary on Tuesday night after she was stabbed in the stomach near Elmfield Park in Bennetthorpe that afternoon.

She had caught a bus into town to meet friends during the half-term holiday. After she was stabbed she staggered into the park before calling police on her mobile phone saying before dialling 999 to tell police “I’ve been stabbed.”

Tennis coach John Willis was giving a lesson in the nearby courts when his kids, Owen, ten, and Matthew, five, ran to tell him that Casey was having a fit in the play park.

Mr Willis said: “I ran over as soon as I could, when I arrived a woman was tending to Casey and I tried to help.

“We didn’t know what had happened at the time. The kids said she was walking normally then hunched over as though she was looking for some keys in a bag.

“The police arrived shortly after and helped with the medical side of things until the paramedics arrived and took over completely.

“The crew had only been there for around a minute when they asked for everyone to make some room. It was then that we knew she had been stabbed.

“The kids are finding it very difficult to come to terms with, as am I, especially when we found out Casey had died from her injuries.

“It all felt very surreal but the full horror of what has happened is beginning to sink in.

“I cannot imagine what that young girl’s family are going through. My thoughts are with them.

“In times gone by there would be people around, somebody to hand out a tennis racket, or a golf club, but there are no activities any more and the park is isolated.”

Mr Willis and his children laid a tribute at the entrance to the park. In amongst other bouquets their message reads: “We found you, we tried to help, we didn’t know you but we loved you. God bless, the Willis family.”

Police have reassured the public the stabbing was an isolated attack.

The McAuley Catholic High School, has been described as coming from a ‘loving family.’

A statement from the school has been released, which states: “The whole school community of McAuley Catholic High School is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Casey Kearney a pupil in year 9 in such tragic circumstances.

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.

We look forward to welcoming students back to school on Monday where there will be appropriate support for them”

Elmfield Park was still sealed off by police after the attack and has remained closed last night.

Senior investigating officer, Det Supt, Terry Mann, said appealed for witnesses with information about the stabbing to come forward.

He said: “Casey was wearing a black waist-length jacket, blue jeans and carrying a black Bench shoulder bag with purple writing. She was white, five feet three inches tall and had long, straight, ginger hair.

“I am specifically appealing to anyone who was in the park around the time of the alleged assault. It is school half-term, people were likely to have been in the area at the time of the incident, using the park facilities or passing through.

“Please think about your movements – did you see Casey? Did you see anyone acting suspiciously in the park area?”

Have you seen anything at the park? Let us know on 01302 347266 or email editorial@doncastertoday.co.uk

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