An inquest has today been opened into the death of an ‘angelic’ art teacher whose husband has appeared in court accused of murdering her.
Kathryn Jane Iyayi was found with critical injuries at her house in Oak Crescent, Littleover, at around 7.15am on Sunday, February 6.
The 52-year-old teacher, known as Katy Harris to her friends, family and colleagues, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at around 7.30am and was identified by her daughter the next day.
The nature of her wounds has not been made public by investigators.
Her husband Conrad Iyayi, 44, appeared at court earlier this month charged with her murder and will provisionally stand trial on August 3.
Parents of children taught by Ms Harris, affectionately known as Katy, described her as a ‘wonderful teacher’ and a ‘fantastic mother’ in tributes shared online.
Kathryn Jane Iyayi (left) was found with critical injuries at her house in Oak Crescent, Littleover, at around 7.15am on Sunday, February 6. Her husband Conrad Iyayi, 44, (right) appeared at court earlier this month charged with her murder and will provisionally stand trial on August 3
An inquest today opened into Ms Harris’ death at Derby Coroners Court.
Proceedings were adjourned by senior coroner Dr Robert Hunter to await the outcome of the trial.
He said: ‘I am opening the inquest touching upon the death of Kathryn Jane Iyayi.
‘As someone has been arrested and awaits trial at the Crown Court, I will suspend the inquest and await the outcome of these criminal proceedings.’
The inquest opening was also attended by Detective Sergeant Yates of Derbyshire police, who confirmed Ms Harris’ details and that police were called at 7.17am on the morning of February 6.
The 52-year-old was born in Oxfordshire and worked at St Clare’s School in Mickleover until her death.
St Clare’s School is a community special needs school for children with learning difficulties, autism and physical impairment.
Ms Harris taught art at the school, which has around 150 pupils.
An inquest today opened into Ms Harris’ death at Derby Coroners Court. Pictured: The husband and wife together
Headteacher at the school, Laura Russell said: ‘We are all shocked and saddened by this terrible news and our thoughts and prayers are with Katy’s friends and family at this awful time.
‘Katy was a big part of the St Clare’s family and made a real difference to the students she taught.
‘We would ask for privacy and space to help students, parents and staff come to terms with her death.’
Ms Harris was described as someone who ‘changed many lives’ by ‘putting her soul into teaching.’
One person wrote: ‘So sad, my deepest condolences to the family. Such terrible terrible news! Met Katy a few times and she was a very lovely lady and a fantastic mother.’
A neighbour added: ‘So sad… she was only a few doors away, such a beautiful angelic woman… so heartbreaking, the whole crescent is really sad.
‘RIP beautiful Katy and my sincere condolences to family especially her little boy, my heart goes out to him…so tragic.’
Another commented: ‘RIP Katy, sending love to family and friends. You were a wonderful teacher.’
One mother said: ‘So tragic she was an excellent teacher. Well loved by the children.’
Another put: ‘So sad, Mrs Harris was my son’s teacher, she was lovely and will be sadly missed by many, my thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.’
Derbyshire Police are still appealing for anyone with information that could assist with their enquiries and asked that they be contacted quoting reference 22*073295.Pictured: The scene in Derby
Another parent wrote: ‘Awful news, this lady was my daughter’s teacher. She’s devastated tonight.
‘My thoughts go out to her family, friends, pupils and everyone at the school she worked with.’
Meanwhile a former student added: ‘Mrs Harris taught at a special needs school, she was an amazing woman, she changed lives of all kids who went there, she brought me out of my shell in school, what has the world come to.’
Another commented: ‘Can’t believe it… a really good talented young woman who I know and helped kids with autism get through with art.’
Derbyshire Police are still appealing for anyone with information that could assist with their enquiries and asked that they be contacted quoting reference 22*073295.
They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may be able to help with the investigation, including any drivers with a dashcam who drove along The Hollow between midnight and 7.15am on February 6.
People can also give information anonymously and free of charge by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.