A teenage girl who killed seven-year-old Katie Rough in a York park has been given a life sentence for manslaughter.
The judge ordered the 16-year-old, who cannot be named, to be detained for a minimum of five years in the “truly exceptional case”.
Katie Rough died after she was smothered by the teen, who was 15 at the time, and then slashed with a Stanley knife in a park in York, in January.
The teenager admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility at a previous hearing, and appeared by video link at Leeds Crown Court as Katie’s family looked on.
The teenager clutched a soft toy throughout the hearing, and sat with her head down.
Katie’s family said in a statement: “Today is the end of a process and that is a relief, but it’s not the end of our story.
“Our story is about a loving home and family that was torn apart on the day we lost our daughter.
“Our story goes on into the future, where our home feels very empty, but we will keep going for the sake of our other children and our grandson.
“Our hopes for the future are for a loving and safe home for our family, and we hope we will now find the privacy for that to happen.”
Katie was found on a playing field with two severe cuts to her neck and chest, but the prosecutor said a post-mortem showed neither caused her death and that the little girl was smothered before the cuts were made.
Police recovered items from the scene and from the teenager’s home, including drawings of stick men depicting killing and death.
Books, violent comics and a Simba toy that had its ears cut off and stuffed into its stomach were found in the teenager’s bedroom.
The prosecutor told the judge the teenager was given medication for anxiety and depression, and had suffered from delusions during 2016.
“This investigation has been one of the most tragic and challenging I have ever dealt with in my career as a police officer,” DCI Andrea Kell from North Yorkshire Police said.
“There are no positive results from cases such as these. Regardless of the conviction and the sentence, nothing will ever replace the loss of Katie.”