Scarlett Jenkinson, 16, and Eddie Ratcliffe, also 16, lured Brianna to a park in Warrington, northwest England on February 1st 2023 and stabbed her to death in a pre-meditated attack. The judge has now allowed their identities to be published as they were sentenced.
Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both aged 16, were sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday for the brutal murder of transgender girl Brianna Ghey in a northwest England park last year.
Jenkinson will serve a minimum of 23 years and 4 months, while Ratcliffe will serve at least 20 years behind bars before being eligible for parole. The two teenagers, who were 15 years old at the time, had denied murdering 16-year-old Brianna but were found guilty by a jury last month.
Frenzied Knife Attack in Park Was Pre-meditated
Brianna’s body was found in Linear Park, Warrington with over 50 knife wounds to her neck, torso and wrists. Prosecutors described it as a “frenzied” and “relentless” attack, carried out by the defendants who had planned for weeks prior to kill someone.
The court heard Ratcliffe and Jenkinson had communicated online about their shared interest in murder, violence and causing harm. They browsed disturbing content on the dark web, including videos of murder and torture, and made their own “kill list” of potential targets prior to settling on Brianna.
On the day of Brianna’s murder, the defendants arranged to meet her under the pretense of smoking cannabis in the park. They then launched a prolonged attack on the victim, targeting her neck in an attempt to decapitate her.
Victim’s Mother: “Brianna Was My Shining Light”
In an emotional victim impact statement read to the court, Brianna’s mother Sarah Ghey said her daughter “was my shining light and my superstar” and that she feels “so lost without her.”
“Brianna was always happy, always smiling, always positive and would help anyone,” she said.
Ms Ghey described the defendants as “pure evil” and said she will never forgive them for the extreme violence they inflicted on her child.
“I will never understand why this happened or how anyone could be so cruel,” she told the court.
|23 years 4 months
Families of Defendants Also Condemn Attack
Relatives of both Jenkinson and Ratcliffe publicly condemned their actions ahead of the sentencing.
Jenkinson’s mother said her family were “truly sorry” for Brianna’s death, which she described as “brutal and senseless.”
“We are all in shock ever since Scarlett’s arrest,” she said in a statement. “What happened that day will haunt us forever.”
Ratcliffe’s mother similarly voiced her family’s distress, saying her son’s actions are “unforgivable” and their “thoughts remain with Brianna’s family.”
History of Violent Threats From Jenkinson
While Ratcliffe had no prior history with police, Scarlett Jenkinson was known to authorities for previous violent incidents, including one occasion where she poisoned a school friend with a cannabis-laced sweet.
Teachers described Jenkinson as having a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality and she had allegedly spoken in the past of her desire to kill someone.
After the defendants were arrested for Brianna’s murder, Jenkinson bizarrely asked police: “How come I’m a suspect?” when notified she was being charged.
Transgender Charities Call for Education on Identity Issues
LGBTQ advocacy groups have expressed dismay at the brutal transphobic nature of Brianna’s murder and are urging schools to educate students better around identity issues.
“This is a reminder of how much anti-LGBTQ sentiment still exists,” said Elly Barnes of the UK charity Educate and Celebrate.
“Children must be taught from an early age about gender identity and expression in an inclusive, non-judgmental way if we are to build a tolerant society.”
Other activists believe the defendants’ obsession with extreme violence points to failings in mental health services for at-risk teenagers.
Brianna Remembered as “Bubbly” and “Loving”
Friends have paid emotional tribute to Brianna, describing the sociable teenager as having an “infectious laugh” and radiating positivity.
Brianna posted prolifically on TikTok about fashion and make-up under the handle @bee_bi_bobi with thousands of supportive followers.
“Her content brought so much light and joy during dark times”, said 17-year-old Amber Lewis, who bonded with Brianna over their shared transgender identity.
“She had so much left to give the world. My heart breaks that she was taken far too soon by small-minded bigotry and hate.”
The judge praised Brianna’s dignity and said society should reflect on how such a brutal, targeted attack could happen. As Jenkinson and Ratcliffe begin their life sentences, the question remains as to what led these two adolescents to commit such an inexplicable and devastating act of violence against another child.
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