Advertisement

Why Brianna Ghey's teenage killers have been named

Throughout the trial, the media had been ordered not to name Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, but the order banning their identification was lifted.

Brianna Ghey was 16 when she died. (PA)
Brianna Ghey was 16 when she died. (PA)

The girl and boy who murdered trans teenager Brianna Ghey have been named.

Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both 16, identified only as girl X and boy Y during their four-week trial last December at Manchester Crown Court, were handed life sentences for the 'brutal' killing on Friday.

Despite being below the age of 18, senior judge Mrs Justice Yip revealed their having lifted a ban on the press naming them.

They were aged 15 when they carried out the "disturbing" plan to murder Brianna, 16, in a "frenzied and ferocious" attack with a hunting knife.

The judge said the murder was “brutal” and “sadistic” and that a secondary motive was Brianna’s trans identity.

Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe have been named as the murderers of Brianna Ghey. (Cheshire Police)
Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe have been named as the murderers of Brianna Ghey. (Cheshire Police)

Jenkinson, currently held in Adel Beck secure children’s home in Leeds, was given a minimum term of 22 years before parole.

Ratcliffe, currently at Barton Moss secure children’s home in Salford, was given a minimum of 20 years before parole.

Why are they being named?

During the trial, Justice Yip said she would lift a court order banning the press from identifying Jenkinson and Ratcliffe.

Throughout the trial, the media had been ordered not to name the defendants, identified only as girl X and boy Y – both now aged 16 but 15 at the time. It was ruled that an order banning identification be lifted following representations on behalf of the media made by the PA news agency and ITN. Brianna’s family supported the media application.

More North West stories - click above
More North West stories - click above

The identity of anyone on trial below the age of 18 is automatically hidden and it is an offence for a member of the press or public to reveal their name or anything that may lead to it being revealed. A court may consider removing the restrictions after conviction and will take submissions from the press to consider doing so, which has been the case here.

Recommended reading

What was learned about Ratcliffe and Jenkinson during the trial?

Jenkinson and Ratcliffe stabbed Ghey 28 times in the head, neck, chest and back after luring her to Linear Park, Culcheth, a village near Warrington, Cheshire, on the afternoon of 11 February.

Both had denied murder and blamed the other for the killing, which was described as “horrific” by detectives. Intelligent, “high functioning” and coming from normal backgrounds, the trial heard the pair had a fascination with violence, torture and murder and a “thirst for killing”. Neither had been in trouble with the police before.

Read more: Brianna Ghey: What is a hate crime?

Vigils were held for Brianna Ghey after her murder. (PA)
Vigils were held for Brianna Ghey after her murder. (PA)

They had discussed Brianna’s murder for weeks, detailed in a handwritten murder plan and phone messages found by detectives. Jurors were told it was “difficult to fathom” how the two child defendants could carry out such a disturbing crime. Jenkinson while aged 14, downloaded a TOR internet browser app to watch videos of the torture and murder of real people, in 'red rooms' on the dark web.

She developed an interest in serial killers, making notes on their methods, and admitted enjoying “dark fantasies” about killing and torture, with the pair living in a secret world of warped interest in murder and cruelty, their trial heard.

Jenkinson claimed that while she enjoyed fantasies about murder she never intended any of it to become reality while Ratcliffe claimed he just played along and never wanted to harm anyone.