Brianna Ghey trial to begin today in Manchester
Nine months on from the devastating death of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey, two teenagers accused of her death will go on trial.
Brianna, a transgender teenage girl, was found dead on 11 February in Culcheth Linear Park in Culcheth, Warrington with multiple stab wounds.
Four days later, two teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were charged with her killing.
Both teenagers entered not-guilty pleas ahead of this Monday’s (27 November) trial.
A funeral was held for Brianna on 15 March at St Elphin’s parish church, where attendees were asked to wear pink in the late teen’s memory.
Brianna’s killing drew international attention and raised questions about the UK’s treatment of the trans community across politics, media, and wider society.
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After news of her death broke, thousands attended candlelit vigils held across the UK in Brianna’s honour.
Activists and advocate groups like Mermaids and Labour Students used their platforms to call for society to use their positions of privilege to make space for and uplift trans young people, who are being faced with a culture of hate and aggression.
The teen was remembered by her classmates at Birchwood Community High as a “true one-off, unique, and truly unforgettable.”
Earlier this month, classmates marked what would have been the “beautiful, witty and hilarious” Brianna’s 17th birthday by coming into school wearing pink, her favourite colour.
Over the last number of months, Esther and her partner Wes Powell have worked to raise funds for the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MiSP) which provides mindfulness training to schools and makes a positive difference to the mental health and wellbeing of pupils to prevent incidents like Brianna’s death from happening.
Ahead of Monday’s trial, Brianna’s mum Esther Ghey said that she had been trying her best to “stay focused and positive” in preparation.
“If it was straight away, it would’ve probably been too overbearing to deal with,” she told The Independent.
“Having these months to heal has probably benefited our family – we’ve had a chance to heal and prepare.”
Ahead of the trial, the accused, identified only as girl X, from Warrington, and boy Y, from Leigh, Greater Manchester, had been held in secure youth accommodation, PA News reports.
A jury will be selected today before the trial officially begins before Mrs Justice Yip.
At a pre-trial hearing in July, Justice Yip said, per BBC: “It’s a case in which I know emotions are likely to run high, that’s very understandable. There has been a lot of publicity about it already.
“We’re going to make sure that this case proceeds in a calm manner in court in a way that is going to be entirely fair to everybody.”
The trial is expected to last three weeks.
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