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Brianna Ghey’s mother brands killers ‘cowards’ and calls for compassion towards their families

Brianna, 16, was stabbed 28 times with a hunting knife to her head, neck and chest after she was lured to a park near Warrington last year

Matt Mathers
Wednesday 24 January 2024 17:59 GMT
Brianna Ghey’s mother fights back tears as she calls for compassion for killers’ families

Brianna Ghey’s mother fought back tears as she branded her daughter’s murderers “cowards” and called for the public to be “compassionate” towards their families.

Esther Ghey said “I don’t know whether justice will ever be done” as she called for her daughter’s killers’ minimum jail terms to be “as long as possible”.

The teenagers, known only as girl X and boy Y, will be named in court next month when they are sentenced to life in prison.

They were 15 when they carried out the murder, during which transgender Brianna was stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times on her head, neck and chest in a frenzied attack after she was lured to a park near Warrington, Cheshire, on the afternoon of 11 February 2023.

Brianna Ghey was stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in a frenzied attack (PA Media)

During their trial at Manchester Crown Court last month, the pair tried to blame each other for the killing but were both found guilty.

“I don’t know whether justice will ever be done for Brianna,” an emotional Ms Ghey told ITV1’s Good Morning Britain programme.

“It would be nice to have her back home. That would be justice for me but obviously, that isn’t going to happen.”

She added: “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.”

Ms Ghey has launched a campaign, Peace in Mind, in memory of Brianna, which aims to support children to process and deal with negative emotions in a healthy way.

She said her daughter “struggled with her mental health” and had several medical issues, including an eating disorder.

Brianna Ghey’s mother fights back tears as she urges public to ‘be compassionate’ to families of daughter’s killers (Good Morning Britain/ITV)

Ms Ghey said that Brianna was “so complex” because she was “such a confident person” on one side but had “difficulties” on the other because of her health.

“Because of my experience with Brianna, I wanted to help other young people so we started the ‘Peace in Mind’ campaign and we are so close to the target now,” she explained.

Ms Ghey added that her campaign hopes to get a mental health coach in every school in Warrington and that she was in talks with her local MP, who planned to raise the issue in parliament.

Brianna’s killers were described as warped and obsessed with murder by detectives during a harrowing four-week trial in December last year.

Parents of Brianna Ghey deliver statements after two teenagers found guilty of murder (PA)

Jurors were told that the pair lured her to an area of woodland in Culcheth Linear Park in February last year.

They heard the pair had a fascination for violence, torture and murder and had planned Brianna’s killing for weeks, detailed in a handwritten murder plan and phone messages found by detectives.

A jury of seven men and five women convicted the two within five hours.

Mrs Justice Yip ruled that the media could name the killers when they are sentenced after representations on behalf of the news outlets made by the Press Association and ITN.

Lawyers for the defendants opposed the media application, arguing that it had possible ramifications for their welfare and consequences for their families, including death threats received by girl Y’s family.

They are due to be sentenced on 2 February.

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