Jury convicts boy and girl in England of murdering trans teen in frenzied knife attack

LONDON — A boy and a girl were found guilty Wednesday of murdering a transgender teenager in northwest England earlier this year, in a frenzied knife attack that was described as “horrific” by police.

Brianna Ghey, 16, was stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in her head, neck, chest and back in broad daylight after being lured to a park in the town of Warrington on Feb. 11.

The convicted pair, who are identified only as girl X and boy Y, are 16 now but were 15 at the time. They denied killing Ghey, and each blamed the other for the fatal stabbing. It is not known which one or if both wielded the knife. Neither had been in trouble with police before.

A jury of seven men and five women convicted the two following a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court. The jurors deliberated for just four hours and 40 minutes of deliberations.

“You probably didn’t anticipate sitting on a case as emotionally difficult as this one,” Justice Amanda Yip told them.

The trial heard that the young defendants were intelligent and had a fascination with violence, torture and serial killers. They had planned the attack for weeks, detailed in a handwritten plan and phone messages found by detectives. They had also discussed killing others, which prompted police early in the investigation to rule out transphobia as a motivation behind Brianna’s murder.

Police believe Brianna was killed because she was vulnerable and accessible, with her death not a hate crime but done for “enjoyment” and a “thirst for killing.”

“This was a senseless murder committed by two teenagers who have an obsession with murder,” said Nigel Parr, senior investigating officer from Cheshire Police. “Brianna trusted the female defendant, she was betrayed by someone she called her friend.”

Yip said she won’t be sentencing the pair this week. She said a life sentence was mandatory but that she would await psychologists’ reports before deciding the minimum prison time the pair will be required to serve before being eligible for parole.

“Frankly I don’t expect them to make a huge difference to the outcome in sentencing but given their ages and the unusual circumstances of the case, I think it is right I have all the information available,” the judge said.

Neither defendant displayed a visible reaction to the verdicts.

Girl X spoke to her social worker and glanced at her parents when leaving the courtroom, while Boy Y, who avoids all eye contact, did not look over at his mother as he was led from the dock carrying his Sudoku puzzles book.

Boy Y has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and is non-verbal and girl X has traits of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Outside the court, Brianna’s mother said her daughter’s killers had not shown “an ounce of remorse” but she called for the families of the convicted pair to be shown some empathy and compassion.

“We miss Brianna so much and our house feels empty without her laughter,” Esther Ghey said. “To know how scared my usually fearless child must have been when she was alone in that park with someone that she called her friend will haunt me forever.”


Leave a Comment