A 14-year-old boy has been remanded in secure accommodation after appearing at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court charged with the murder of Ava White, 12, who was stabbed in the city centre on Thursday.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wore a grey tracksuit and sat in the dock for the five-minute hearing. District Judge Wendy Lloyd took the decision to remand him in secure accommodation to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday.
He has also been charged with possession of a bladed article.
District Judge Wendy Lloyd said: “Because this is a murder case it has to go to the crown court, that is the only place murder cases can be tried.
“I am formally sending it to the crown court for Wednesday morning. Between now and then you are going to be kept in secure accommodation.”
Ava had been in the city with friends on Thursday following a Christmas lights switch-on when she suffered “catastrophic injuries” in an assault at 8.39pm, Merseyside Police said. The 12-year-old, who was said to be “popular” and “bright” was involved in a "verbal argument" which escalated into an "assault on her with a knife", police said.
Flowers and balloons have been left in Church Street by those paying tribute to her.
Police investigating her death also released an image of a van that may have been occupied by key witnesses to the killing.
The force is continuing to appeal for information and believes the van’s occupants may have witnessed the incident, insisting that they are not being treated as suspects.
Three other boys aged between 13 and 15, who were also arrested, have been conditionally bailed as inquiries continue.
Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs said: “We’re continuing to support Ava’s family and they have requested that their privacy continues to be respected at this difficult time.
“It’s also vitally important as we continue the investigation that nobody posts comments or names on social media which could potentially impact upon us getting justice for Ava’s family.
“Please trust us that we are doing all we can to investigate and update people on this tragic incident, and we do not want anything to jeopardise this.”
Ms Coombs urged anyone who captured the incident or aftermath to send images or footage to the force online.
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