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29 October 2016, 06:55
The family of a 16-year-old who was stabbed to death at school has paid tribute to their "true gent and beautiful boy'' on the first anniversary of his death.
Bailey Gwynne died after he was stabbed at Cults Academy in Aberdeen on October 28 last year.
His killer, a 16-year-old youth who cannot be named for legal reasons, was locked up for nine years in April after a jury found him guilty of culpable homicide and carrying weapons.
Bailey, a fifth-year pupil with four younger brothers, died from bleeding caused by a single stab wound to the heart during a fight in his lunch hour.
In a statement, his family said: "There are no words to truly express how we feel about what happened to Bailey a year ago and in truth it is too painful to try. Our hearts will always be with our boy.
"There are also inadequate words to truly express how highly we think of those who tried to help Bailey on that day.
"They gave everything they could of themselves and showed a level of care, compassion and determination that we will never forget.''
The family thanked first aiders, NHS staff and police as well as Andrew Lowe, who led an independent review into the incident which concluded the fatal stabbing might have been avoided if teachers had been alerted that the killer carried weapons.
The multi-agency probe into the stabbing made a series of recommendations, including calling on the Scottish Government to consider changing the law to give teachers more power to search pupils.
The family said they had the "utmost trust and respect'' in Mr Lowe, adding: "It is a dearly held belief that it is our duty as adults and as a community to make sure that school is a truly safe place for all of our children.''
Their statement continued: "It is through remembering all of the beautiful qualities that make Bailey such a special boy to us that we will find a path forward.
"A boy with dearly held dreams, with a gentle heart, comic timing and an astronomical appetite. Our beloved boy who we were blessed to have for those sixteen years and is still the cherished centre of his family.
"As a family we will always strive to be a credit to Bailey in the very same way that he is to us. We couldn't have asked any more of him.
"Our true gent and our beautiful boy. We're proud of you, Bailey boy.''
A special assembly was held at Cults Academy in memory of the teenager.
Anna Muirhead, Cults Academy head teacher, said the school held a special assembly "to acknowledge the tragedy and reflect on its impact.
"Pupils and staff have been supported throughout the year and will continue to be. Our focus is on maintaining normal school activities.''