Two teenagers accused of murdering a 16-year-old girl in a park near Warrington had a list of five children they wanted to kill, a court has heard.
Two teenagers, who cannot be identified due to legal restrictions, were accused of stabbing Brianna Ghey 28 times in an alleged “prolonged and aggressive assault” on February 11, 2023. According to Manchester Crown Court, Brianna was a transgender individual who had been presenting and identifying as female before her passing.
The individuals believed to have murdered her are facing charges for plotting the crime over a period of weeks, if not months. They allegedly enticed her to Culcheth Linear Park under the false pretense of using cocaine. According to the jury, they had initially planned to kill Brianna two weeks prior, but were unsuccessful when she canceled their meeting.
The jury was informed on Monday that both defendants, who are now 16 years old, are accusing each other of committing the murder. Deanna Heer KC, speaking on behalf of the prosecution, stated that their case is that both defendants are equally responsible for the murder, regardless of who delivered the fatal blows. According to the prosecution, the defendants acted together in planning and carrying out the murder.
Heer stated that the defendants had been acquainted since they were 11 years old and were very close friends who regularly communicated and had a strong level of trust between them. The majority of the proof against them can be found in their text conversations leading up to and following the murder.
In November 2022, X met Brianna and expressed her fascination with her. X referred to Brianna as “really different” and in December 2022, she told Y that she was obsessed with Brianna, but did not have romantic feelings for her. She mentioned that Brianna had a penis, adding a humorous note.
During the trial, the jury heard exchanges where Y used the pronoun “it” to refer to Brianna. Y asked the girl, “Is it a femboy or a tranny?” The girl informed Y that Brianna is transgender and described her as sounding like a girl and being very beautiful, according to Heer.
Y asked, “What are your emotions when you engage with it?” X shared, “I felt anxious and uneasy, but my heart remained calm,” as reported by Heer to the jury. Y replied, “I don’t believe you are in love, but rather curious and fascinated by its unusual characteristics.”
In January 2023, Heer stated that X’s feelings towards Brianna had taken a negative turn. It was during this time that X began discussing the possibility of killing Brianna with an excessive amount of pills. X allegedly mentioned that Brianna’s preexisting depression would make it less likely for anyone to suspect foul play, according to court testimony.
Heer stated that X admitted to administering an excessive amount of ibuprofen to Brianna and there was proof indicating that X was not fabricating this information. According to Heer, Brianna’s mother, Esther Ghey, later informed the police that she believed Brianna was suffering from appendicitis and was experiencing severe pain, leading her to fear for her daughter’s life.
According to the jury, the girl used a specific browser on her phone to access the dark web. She admitted to Y that she enjoys watching real torture videos on the dark web.
According to testimony in court, X and Y discussed harming five children, including a boy named E who Y referred to as a “nonce”. Their plan was to create a fake Instagram account, created by X, to lure E to Linear Park where they would hang him using a rope.
The court was informed that E quickly deactivated the false account, prompting X to suggest, “If we can’t reach E tomorrow, we can eliminate Brianna.” Y concurred, stating, “Yeah, it will be simpler and I am curious to see if they will cry out like a male or a female.”
On January 28th, the two accused individuals planned to meet Brianna in the park. According to Heer’s testimony to the jury, X informed Brianna that they were meeting there to use cocaine. However, their plans had to be cancelled when Brianna sent X a text saying she could not make it. Frustrated, X messaged Y, saying “I am angry that Brianna suddenly said she cannot come.”
However, the accused individuals still gathered on that day and strolled to Linear Park. At this location, X recorded Y under a bridge that was a two to three minute walk from where Brianna would later be murdered, as stated by Heer to the jury.
After a period of two weeks, Brianna was killed. A couple walking their dogs found her body lying face down in the mud. The defendants were startled and ran away, according to Heer’s testimony to the jury. Despite attempts by paramedics to revive her, Brianna was declared dead at 4:02pm.
According to the court, she was attacked with a hunting knife that was purchased by Y six weeks prior, resulting in 28 stab wounds measuring 13cm.
Heer stated that the stab wounds inflicted on the victim resulted in damage to her bones, specifically her chest bone and ribs. These injuries would have required a significant amount of force to be caused. It is evident that the victim was subjected to a prolonged and forceful attack.
The jury was informed that Brianna was transgender and assigned male at birth. Heer stated, “At the time of the incidents, Brianna identified as female and presented herself as a female through her appearance and mannerisms, despite not having undergone gender reassignment surgery. Throughout the trial, we will use female pronouns when referring to her.”
Mrs. Justice Yip informed the jury that Y had been diagnosed with autism while in custody and experienced high levels of anxiety. She stated that Y had limited verbal communication skills. According to Yip, the girl also had a diagnosis of traits of autism, ADHD, and anxiety.
According to the speaker, there may be days when the defendants are not physically in court, but instead watching through a video link. Each defendant has their own intermediary in the dock to assist them in following and participating in the trial. The intermediary also helps the speaker by informing them if the defendant is having trouble or needs a break.
The case continues.