Teens sentenced to life for the murder of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey
The two teenagers responsible for the brutal murder of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey have received life sentences. Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both 15 at the time of the attack, were found guilty of murdering the trans schoolgirl in a 'frenzied and ferocious' knife assault.
Brianna Ghey, 16, suffered 28 stab wounds to the head, neck, chest, and back after being lured to Linear Park, Culcheth, a village near Warrington, Cheshire, on February 11, 2023. Following the lifting of a reporting ban on their identities at Manchester Crown Court, Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both now 16, have been named as the perpetrators.
Mrs. Justice Yip, presiding over the case, initiated the sentencing of both defendants, stating:
“Scarlett and Eddie, you are to be sentenced for murder, you are to be detained at His Majesty’s pleasure, which, as you know, is a life sentence. I must also set a minimum term before you can be considered for release. You will only be released if in the future it is decided you no longer present a danger. That decision will be for the Parole Board. Brianna was only 16 years old. She had her whole life ahead of her. This case is unusual and it has shocked the public.”
Jenkinson has been given a minimum term of 22 years, while Ratcliffe must serve at least 20 years, according to the judge.
Mrs. Justice Yip highlighted a strong public interest in the full and unrestricted reporting of what is plainly an exceptional case.' She explained, "The public will naturally wish to know the identities of the young people responsible as they seek to understand how children could do something so dreadful. Continuing restrictions inhibit full and informed debate and restrict the full reporting of the case."
The defendants, who had previously denied murder and blamed each other for the killing, were revealed during the trial to have a fascination with violence, torture, and murder, expressing a 'thirst for killing.' Despite normal backgrounds and no prior encounters with the police, both exhibited disturbing tendencies.
At the age of 14, Jenkinson downloaded a TOR internet browser app to access videos of real people being tortured and murdered in 'red rooms' on the 'dark web.' She developed an interest in serial killers, making notes on their methods, and admitted to enjoying 'dark fantasies' about killing and torture.
Ratcliffe, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and non-verbal, and Jenkinson, diagnosed with traits of autism and ADHD, demonstrated their abnormal interests during the trial. Brianna's mother, Esther Ghey, expressed her sentiments on ITV’s Good Morning Britain last month:
“I don’t know whether justice will ever be done for Brianna. It would be nice to have her back home. That would be justice for me, but obviously, that isn’t going to happen. Knowing that they are going to prison and they are going to have a long time, if not forever, is a massive relief because during the trial it was a rollercoaster of emotion, as you always had that little seed of doubt that maybe the jury would come to the decision that they were not guilty. So hearing that guilty plea - it was just a massive sense of relief. The fact that they both pointed the finger at each other shows that they are cowards really and it shows the character of each of them. Maybe if they had admitted or shown a little remorse, I may have felt some sympathy for them.”