katie rough
Seven-year-old Katie Rough died after being found seriously injured near a field in York North Yorkshire Police

A teenager who killed seven-year-old Katie Rough in York has been given a life sentence for manslaughter and ordered to be detained for at least five years.

The 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was accused originally accused of the murder of Katie after the latter was found with severe lacerations to her neck and chest on a playing field in the Woodthorpe area of the city in January.

She was taken to hospital with wounds believed to have been inflicted with a Stanley Knife, but later died.

The defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds diminished responsibility, which was accepted by the court.

The court heard she suffered with severe mental health issues, believing people "were robots" and "may be controlled by a higher and hostile force".

Appearing by video-link at Leeds Crown Court, the 16-year-old has now been handed the life sentence.

Following the sentence, North Yorkshire Police described the case as "one of the most tragic and challenging" the force has ever dealt with.

Senior Investigating Officer, DCI Andrea Kell said: "There are no positive results from cases such as these. Regardless of the conviction and sentence, nothing will ever replace the loss of Katie .

"The lives of Paul and Alison Rough, and their wider family, have changed forever as a result of the devastating events which happened on Monday 9 January 2017.

"I hope today's conclusion of the court proceedings, will allow the family to now focus on trying to re-build their lives."

Katie's family added: "Today is the end of a process, and that is a relief, but it is not the end of our story.

"Our story is about a loving home and family that was torn apart on a day when we lost our daughter. Our story goes on into a future where our home feels very empty, but we will keep going for sake of our other children and our grandson.

"Our hopes for the future are for a loving and safe home for the rest of our family, and we hope we will now find the privacy for that to happen.

"Katie's memory will live on in our hearts but also more widely, as a little girl who brought more colour to her world."

Katie Rough
Floral tributes and a teddy bear are left near the crime scene where Katie Rough was killed Getty