Two teenagers have been found guilty of murdering 16-year-old Brianna Ghey in a “frenzied and ferocious” knife attack.
The pair, known only as girl X and boy Y, were just 15 when Brianna was lured to Linear Park in Culcheth, near Warrington, and stabbed 28 times in her head, neck and back with a hunting knife on 11 February.
Manchester Crown Court heard they were obsessed with violence, torture and death and had compiled a “kill list” including Brianna, who was transgender, and four other children.
Jurors were shown thousands of texts and WhatsApp messages exchanged between girl X and boy Y, who are now aged 16, in which they discussed their plans.
Both denied murder, claiming the chats were just “dark fantasies”, and blamed each other for carrying out the stabbing.
How teenagers ‘thirsty for death’ plotted her murder
Image: Brianna Ghey. Pic: Cheshire Police But prosecutors said that while boy Y wielded the knife, girl X was equally responsible because she actively planned and encouraged the killing.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court found them both guilty of murder today after four hours and 40 minutes of deliberations.
The judge Mrs Justice Yip thanked jurors for their service on an “extremely difficult and, at times, distressing case” and adjourned sentencing for reports.
She told the two convicted killers: “I will have to impose a life sentence. What I have to decide is the minimum amount of time you will be required to serve before you might be considered for release.”
Neither of the teenagers visibly reacted as the verdicts were delivered but Boy Y’s mother sobbed while being hugged by a friend as her son was led from the dock.
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Brianna Ghey murder ‘most brutal attack’ Girl X, wearing a pinafore style dress, spoke to her social worker and glanced at her parents leaving the courtroom.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) deputy chief Crown prosecutor Ursula Doyle said: “This has been one of the most disturbing cases we have ever dealt with. The planning, the violence and the age of the killers is beyond belief.
“Brianna Ghey was subjected to a frenzied and ferocious attack and was tabbed 28 times in broad daylight in a public park.”
Image: The hunting knife used to stab Brianna. Pic: Cheshire Police The teenagers were arrested within 24 hours of the murder and officers found the knife and blood-soaked clothes in boy Y’s bedroom.
A crumpled handwritten note described as a “murder plan” was found in girl X’s bedroom.
Cheshire Police Detective Chief Superintendent Mike Evans said both teenagers “thought they’d never get caught” but their downfall was their own “arrogance”.
“I think what they did on that day and leading up to that day was evil, it was cruel and it was vicious,” he said.
“It was absolutely heinous what they’ve done. It was the most brutal, cold-blooded, cruel attack on someone, who was a vulnerable and anxious child.”