Teen killers who murdered Brianna Ghey named ahead of sentencing

Brianna was stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in her head, neck, chest and back after being lured to a park by her teenage killers.

Teenage killers Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe who murdered Brianna Ghey named ahead of sentencing Getty Images

Two teenagers who murdered schoolgirl Brianna Ghey have been named for the first time ahead of sentencing.

On Friday, the pair were pictured and named for the first time as 16-year-old’s Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe.

The killers, both 15 at the time, had been found guilty of the “disturbing” plan to murder Brianna, 16, in a “frenzied and ferocious” knife attack.

Anxious and vulnerable, unsuspecting transgender schoolgirl Brianna was stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in her head, neck, chest and back after being lured to Linear Park, Culcheth, a village near Warrington, Cheshire, on the afternoon of February 11 last year.

Jenkinson, Brianna’s school friend and the daughter of teachers, who lives close to the park in Culcheth, was identified only as girl X during their trial last December at Manchester Crown Court.

Ratcliffe, from Leigh, whose mother is a skiing instructor and father runs his own businesses, had been identified only as boy Y.

Each had denied murder and blamed the other for the killing, described as “horrific” by detectives.

Media were banned from naming them during the four-week trial because of their ages.

After they were found guilty of murder by the jury, trial judge Mrs Justice Yip ruled the press could name the two at their sentencing hearing on Friday following an appeal on behalf of the media.

Ratcliffe, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and who is non-verbal, and Jenkinson, diagnosed with traits of autism and ADHD, both face a mandatory life sentence when Mrs Justice Yip sentences them later this morning.

Intelligent, “high functioning” and coming from normal backgrounds, the trial heard the pair had a fascination for violence, torture and murder and a “thirst for killing”.

Neither had been in trouble with police before.

Brianna GheyGoFundMe

They were discussing Brianna’s murder for weeks, detailed in Jenkinson’s handwritten murder plan and phone messages found by detectives.

Jurors were told it was “difficult to fathom” how the two child defendants could carry out such a disturbing crime.

Jenkinson, while aged 14, downloaded a TOR internet browser app, to watch videos of the torture and murder of real people, in “red rooms” on the “dark web”.

She developed an interest in serial killers, making notes on their methods, and admitted enjoying “dark fantasies” about killing and torture, the pair living in a secret world of warped interests in murder and cruelty, their trial heard.

They drew up a “kill list” of four others they intended to harm, until Brianna had the “misfortune” to be befriended by Jenkinson.

She had been asked to leave her school, Culcheth High, over an incident involving cannabis and joined Brianna’s school, Birchwood High, and quickly became “obsessed” with her.

Brianna had thousands of followers on TikTok, but in reality was a withdrawn, shy and anxious teenager who struggled with depression and rarely left her home.

Jenkinson told Ratcliffe she wanted to stab Brianna “jus coz its fun lol… I want to see the pure horror on her face and hear her scream”.

She got her wish after luring Brianna to the park on a Saturday afternoon, believing she was going to “hang out” with friends.

Brianna Ghey, Cheshire ConstabularyCheshire Constabulary

Their dark fantasies were about to become reality, the court heard, Jenkinson chillingly telling Brianna when she caught the bus to meet them not to buy a return ticket – and reminding Ratcliffe to bring his hunting knife.

Jenkinson had talked about “trophies” taken during killing plans and took a last photo of Brianna on her phone in the park.

Then at around 3pm Brianna, who had been seen sitting on a bench, was suddenly attacked, possibly initially from behind, with Ratcliffe’s hunting knife with a 13cm blade.

Brianna was “stabbed and stabbed and stabbed” in a “frenzied and ferocious” attack.

She instinctively tried to cover up – tendons in her hands and arms slashed in a futile attempt to fend off the blows.

She suffered 28 stab wounds, 14 to her head and neck and 14 to her chest, back and sides.

The blade cut her throat, puncturing her heart and lungs and the blows were delivered with enough force to damage the bones of her ribs, vertebrae and sternum.

As she lay dying Jenkinson sent a message to her victim’s phone, “Girl, where are you?”, to set up her cover story of Brianna leaving them to go off with another youth.

Seconds later she deleted a Snapchat conversation with Brianna, showing “cool and calculated” presence of mind.

Both teenagers went home and carried on as if nothing had happened, Jenkinson later posting an online tribute with a photo of her victim, saying: “Brianna was one of the best people I have ever met and such an amazing friend it’s so f****** sickening what got done to her.”

An hour later both were under arrest.

They had been seen by witnesses with Brianna and caught on CCTV and doorbell footage and quickly traced.

Detectives found the murder weapon with Brianna’s blood on the blade in Ratcliffe’s bedroom, along with heavily blood-stained clothing and trainers.

At Jenkinson’s home they found a handwritten note detailing the murder plan and naming Brianna as the victim.

Messages on their phones detailed their fascination with murder, torture and death, plans to kill other children and an earlier attempt to poison Brianna with an overdose.

Detective Chief Superintendent Mike Evans, head of crime at Cheshire Police, said: “There’s not many murders where you get from planning to execution almost documented, word for word.”

The gruesome murder of a transgender teenager in a public park prompted candlelit vigils worldwide protesting against perceived transphobia.

Detectives 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”.

Each defendant blamed the other and it is not known which one or if both wielded the knife.

Jenkinson claimed while she enjoyed fantasies of killing Brianna she never intended any of it to become reality.

Ratcliffe said he played along or treated it all as a joke and never wanted to harm anyone.

Jurors disagreed.

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