The two teenagers who murdered Brianna Ghey will be named when the pair are sentenced next year, the trial’s judge has confirmed.
Judge Mrs Justice Yip said there was “a strong public interest in the full and unrestricted reporting of what is plainly an exceptional case”. However, she warned against directing abuse at the killers’ families, noting that Brianna’s own mother had called for compassion for them.
During the trial, the court heared how Brianna was repeatedly stabbed during the daylight attack on 11 February in Warrington’s Culcheth Linear Park. A couple walking a dog disturbed the scene, prompting the attackers to flee before being captured on CCTV appearing “calm” on their way home.
The jury also heard how the girl defendant had an obsession with serial killers and torture videos. Brianna had been friends with her before becoming a target. The girl and boy defendants exchanged thousands of messages over WhatsApp plotting the killings of Brianna and other children.
In the messages, Brianna is referred to as “prey” and “it”, with one message saying “and I want to see if it will scream like a man or a girl”, the Guardian says.
“I am glad that they will spend many years in prison and away from society” – Esther Ghey, Brianna’s mother
Brianna’s mother Esther Ghey spoke to reporters outside the court after the verdict was delivered. “Prior to the trial, I had moments where I felt sorry for the defendants because they had ruined their own lives as well as ours.
“But now, knowing the true nature and seeing neither display an ounce of remorse for what they have done to Brianna, I have lost all sympathy that I may have previously had for them. And I am glad that they will spend many years in prison and away from society.”
“Brianna Ghey was subjected to a frenzied and ferocious attack” – CPS prosecutor
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) deputy chief Crown prosecutor Ursula Doyle said of the case in a statement: “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 stabbed 28 times in broad daylight in a public park.”