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Brianna Ghey murder trial: Accused teenagers had ‘preoccupation with death,’ court hears | UK News

Two 16-year-olds accused of murdering transgender teenager Brianna Ghey had a “preoccupation” with death, violence and torture, a court has heard.

The defendants, a girl and a boy, had previously shared messages about “dark web” torture videos, snuff films, and the fictional serial killer Sweeney Todd, jury members were told.

Prosecutors also told the court that the pair had compiled a list of four people they wanted to kill, along with Brianna – with whom one of the defendants had become “obsessed”.

Brianna, 16, born a boy but who identified and lived as a girl, was fatally stabbed 28 times with a hunting knife in Culcheth Linear Park, near Warrington, Cheshire, in February this year.

The defendants, a girl, 16, identified only as X, and a boy, 16, identified only as Y, and who cannot be identified due to their age, deny her murder.

At the start of their trial, at Manchester Crown Court, the jury was read messages recovered from the phones of girl X and boy Y which prosecutor Deanna Heer KC said showed a “preoccupation” with “violence, torture and death”.

Ms Heer told the jury how they discussed wanting to kill people they knew, and how, over time, they encouraged each other to think about how they would carry out such a plan.

Image:
Police at the scene in Culcheth Linear Park in Warrington, Cheshire

In November 2022, the pair discussed killing a child referred to as boy M, the court heard.

In one message, girl X said: “If I do end up killing boy M, I have a really sharp blade, the same one that Sweeney Todd uses.

“If we kill boy M can I keep some things, a couple of teeth and an eye.”

In early December 2022, girl X sent boy Y a video which was apparently an advert for an underground site for people who like rape, snuff, torture and murder.

Girl X told boy Y: “I love watching torture vids. Real ones on the dark web,” the jury heard.

The court heard that on 1 January 2023, boy Y sent girl X a photo of a hunting knife.

“It was this knife, members of the jury, that was to be used to kill Brianna just six weeks after this image had been sent,” Ms Heer said.

In December last year, the court heard, girl X messaged boy Y telling him she was “obsessed over someone” called Brianna.

Girl X told him that Brianna was trans, sounded just like a girl, and looked really pretty, the court was told.

Brianna Ghey
Pic:Cheshire Police 
Issued by Cheshire Police 
heshirepolice@prgloo.com
Image:
Brianna Ghey. Pic: Cheshire Police

Ms Heer told the court that in January, girl X created a fake Instagram account to contact one of their targets, referred to as boy E, but the request was blocked.

“If we can’t get boy E tomorrow we can kill Brianna,” girl X said in one of the messages, read out in court.

Boy Y replied saying: “Yeah, it’ll be easier and I want to see if it will scream like a man or a girl.”

They discussed meeting Brianna and killing her at the park, the court heard, with girl X writing: “I want to stab her at least once even if she’s dead jus coz its fun lol [laughing out loud].”

While the pair met on 28 January in Culcheth Linear Park, they did not meet with Brianna, the court heard.

Ms Heer told the jury that Brianna died after she suffered a “sustained and violent assault” on the afternoon of 11 February.

Her body was discovered by dog walkers at about 3pm in Culcheth Linear Park, near Warrington.

The court heard the dog walkers saw a male and female breaking into a run as they approached Brianna’s body.

Ms Heer said there was no dispute that the male and female seen running away from Brianna’s body were the two defendants.

“Nor is there any dispute that in the days and weeks leading up to that day they had discussed killing her,” she added.

“Indeed, it is accepted that Brianna Ghey was killed with a knife that belonged to boy Y, a knife which he told girl X he would be bringing with him that day and which he said was sharp enough to kill her.”

The jury was told how the defendants, both of whom were 15 at the time of Brianna’s stabbing, denied murder and denied participating in killing her.

Ms Heer said: “Each blames the other. The prosecution case is that whoever it was who delivered the fatal blow or blows, both defendants are equally guilty.

“Acting together, they planned and executed their plan to kill Brianna.”

The trial, expected to last up to four weeks, was adjourned until Tuesday.

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