Several teenagers have been sentenced to prison for the “exceptionally brutal” killing of Brianna Ghey.

Estimated read time 8 min read

The two teenagers who killed Brianna Ghey have been given a life sentence for a “particularly violent” murder, partially influenced by her transgender status.

The judge referred to Scarlett Jenkinson as the primary instigator of the murder and she was given a minimum sentence of 22 years. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) stated that this was one of the most unsettling cases their attorneys had ever handled.

Eddie Ratcliffe, a former champion kickboxer known for being quiet and studious, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of Brianna, a transgender woman who aspired to be a beauty therapist and was open about her identity.

The two individuals, both 16 years old, were identified for the first time before their sentencing when the judge removed limitations on reporting.

During the sentencing, Mrs Justice Yip stated that the murder committed by both individuals was cruel and premeditated, exhibiting sadistic tendencies. She also noted that a secondary motive behind the crime was animosity towards Brianna due to her transgender identity.

According to her, Jenkinson’s actions were driven by a strong urge to harm others. She expressed worry upon learning that the teenager had stated a desire to kill again after being found guilty. The court was informed that Jenkinson had created a new list of people to kill while in detention, including some of her caretakers.

The judge addressed both defendants, stating that they chose Brianna as their victim because they believed she would be an easy target.

Yip cautioned the duo that they could potentially be detained indefinitely if they continue to pose a threat. Despite Jenkinson’s plea of not guilty, the Manchester crown court was informed that she had confessed to participating in the stabbing after her conviction, despite initially accusing Ratcliffe of the murder.

Brianna GheyView image in fullscreen

According to court testimony, the woman informed a mental health professional that she had repeatedly stabbed Brianna and found it thrilling. She stated that she killed her former friend because she believed Brianna would end their friendship. The defendant’s motive for murder was to have Brianna with her forever.

Jenkinson, who had a fixation on serial killers, confessed to the psychiatrist that she planned to take pieces of Brianna’s body as a memento. She had previously mentioned to Ratcliffe her desire to keep Brianna’s beautiful eyes.

During the trial, it was stated that Brianna suffered 28 stab wounds. However, there is no proof that her murderers removed any of her body parts.

Screengrab taken from CCTV showing Jenkinson and Ratcliffe meeting Brianna at a bus stop on the day of her murderView image in fullscreen

Furthermore, Jenkinson confessed to attempting to harm Brianna by giving her red ibuprofen tablets a couple of weeks prior to the murder, under the false pretense that they would cause a high.

During the court proceedings, it was revealed that Brianna was experiencing severe illness during that period. Her mother, Esther Ghey, believed it was appendicitis. Esther remembered Brianna being extremely unwell and noticed red blobs in her vomit, which she initially thought were red grape skins.

Esther expressed to the court that she was heartbroken that her daughter, who she believed to be lonely, was murdered by a person who was considered a friend and trusted by the family. She had initially been relieved that her child had found companionship, but now feared that this person was responsible for her daughter’s death.

Jenkinson and Ratcliffe became acquainted at the age of 11 while attending Culcheth High School in Warrington. Despite Jenkinson transferring to Birchwood High School in the fall of 2022 due to an incident involving her bringing cannabis-infused treats to class, the two remained friends.

Jenkinson made friends with Brianna at Birchwood, as she was unable to attend regular classes due to her struggles with anxiety and an eating disorder.

Jenkinson, whose mother is a teacher at a high school, confessed to Ratcliffe that she was fixated on Brianna and added her name to a list of children they planned to murder. The remaining targets were four boys who were disliked by the teenagers: one was suspected of inappropriate behavior, another was seen as a romantic competitor, and the last two had been unkind to Jenkinson’s boyfriend.

Screengrab taken from bodyworn police video showing the arrest of JenkinsonView image in fullscreen

After their attempts to deceive one of the others using a fabricated social media account were unsuccessful, Brianna became their main target. They believed it would be “simpler” to eliminate her, as discussed in numerous text conversations leading up to the homicide on February 11th of last year.

At the young age of 15, the teenagers carefully planned the murder of Brianna. Jenkinson wrote out a detailed plan outlining where, when, and how they would stab her. They also had a secret code word, “gay,” to indicate when the attack would begin in Culcheth Linear Park in Warrington.

They followed the plan almost exactly, repeatedly stabbing Brianna 28 times until they were interrupted by a couple walking their dogs.

Ratcliffe met Brianna for the first time on the day of the murder. While planning the killing, he repeatedly referred to her not as “she” but “it”, and a “femboy thing” – and said he “just wanted to see what size dick it has”.

According to Yip, his messages were discriminatory towards transgender individuals and dehumanizing in nature.

Ratcliffe provided evidence to support his claim that he is not transphobic and placed the responsibility for the murder on Jenkinson.

However, the weapon used to stab Brianna was his hunting knife which he purchased during a skiing trip in Bulgaria during the Christmas break of 2022-23.

After being arrested, police discovered the item in his bedroom the following day, which was linked to the murder. DNA from both Brianna and him were found on the knife, and Brianna’s blood was also detected on his shoes and coat.

Jenkinson was not connected to the weapon through any forensic evidence, and there were no traces of blood on her clothing. She later admitted in a post-conviction confession that this was because they had been washed.

The youth in the dock did not make eye contact with each other and were kept apart by security personnel and intermediaries whose job was to help them understand the court proceedings. There was no visible reaction from either of them when the sentence was announced, and Jenkinson occupied himself with a green fidget toy.

Screengrab of Ratcliffe during his police interview

Display the image in full screen mode.

Jenkinson’s first psychiatric evaluation indicated that she displayed characteristics of both autism and ADHD. However, after her conviction, the psychiatrist modified their diagnosis and stated that she actually had a “serious case of conduct-dissocial disorder,” which includes a lack of empathy as one of its defining traits.

Yip stated that this offered “some clarification” on how Jenkinson could carry out such a “terrible homicide,” but it did not diminish her responsibility.

She told the teenager: “Scarlett, I have concluded that the primary motivation for Brianna’s murder was your deep desire to kill. The messages reveal your fantasies and show your sadistic motives. Brianna’s murder was exceptionally brutal.”

Following his detainment, Ratcliffe was assessed with autism and the judge acknowledged that his interpersonal abilities were not on par with others his age. However, she also stated that his autism cannot be used as a justification for his actions.

In the Manchester crown court, it was revealed that Ratcliffe became silent after being accused of Brianna’s murder. He was diagnosed with “selective mutism” and only spoke to his mother. Due to this, the trial was postponed for several months as his lawyers had difficulty obtaining information from him.

At the end of last year, when it finally started, he received permission from the judge to type out his testimony. He informed the jury that he had a passion for science during his school years and had intended to pursue microbiology in college.

Jenkinson confessed to having a fascination with what her lawyer described as “sinister materials,” but maintained that it was all fantasy and she never acted upon it.

She had downloaded a special browser on her phone to watch “real” murders and torture on the dark web, and kept detailed notes about serial killers including Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker”.

Nicola Wyn Williams, a senior prosecutor at the CPS, said: “This sentencing hearing concludes one of the most disturbing cases that the Crown Prosecution Service has had to deal with.

Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both 16 years old, have been found guilty of murder for the savage killing of a vulnerable girl who considered them to be her friends. They have been sentenced to life in prison and have not shown any regret for their actions.

Esther Ghey shared her thoughts on the killers, expressing moments of sympathy for them due to the impact their actions have had on their own lives. However, she also acknowledges that they showed no compassion for Brianna and deliberately carried out a brutal attack purely out of hatred towards the transgender community. Their motives were not based on any wrongdoing by Brianna, but rather fueled by a hatred and desire for entertainment.


You May Also Like

More From Author