THE girl who stabbed tragic seven-year-old Katie Rough to death is unlikely to know her sentence until the New Year.

Today (Thursday, September 7) those in charge of her are preparing to move her to a psychiatric hospital specialising in young people, on the order of Mr Justice Soole, so psychiatrists can assess her condition.

Last July, she pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Prosecution and defence agree she has serious psychiatric difficulties.

The 16-year-old girl cried out, put her head on her knees and buried it in her arms as the judge made the interim order under the Mental Health Act.

It was the first time she had shown any reaction in any of the court hearings she has attended since she was charged over Katie’s death. Until then she had sat impassively, not even responding when asked for her name.

She has been held in a secure children’s home since she was arrested on January 9, the day she killed Katie on a footpath in Woodthorpe, York.

The judge said: “I emphasise that this is an interim order only, accordingly all sentencing options will be open when, at its conclusion, I make my final decision.”

The interim order lasts until November 24. Leeds Crown Court heard it is likely to be extended then on one or more occasions, each time for a maximum of 28 days. It cannot be extended past September 6 next year.

The judge said the consultant psychiatrist in charge of the assessment estimates it will take at least six months.

The judge will then decide whether to make a full hospital order, confining her indefinitely to a psychiatric hospital or whether to pass a custodial sentence, which could be for life.

Psychiatrists disagree as to the nature of her condition and whether it can be treated.

Two consultants specialising in teenager psychiatry believe it is a depressive condition and can be treated. They are instructed by the prosecution.

A third consultant psychiatrist, also specialising in teenager psychiatry, disagrees.

Members of Katie’s family were in court to hear the judge’s order.

They made no statement as they left the building to the assembled journalists.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was not physically in the courtroom. A hush descended as those present saw, on large TV screens, her escorted to a chair in a small room elsewhere in the court house linked to the courtroom by a live video link.

She was wearing a grey top and jeans.

She sat looking straight ahead and said nothing when asked her name. Her solicitor, Colin Byrne, sitting next to her, confirmed her name.