Family of Brianna Ghey’s killer breaks silence: “The last 12 months have been beyond our worst nightmares”
The family of one of Brianna Ghey’s killers – Scarlett Jenkinson – has thanked the transgender girl’s mother for her “incredible selflessness and empathy”.
The two teenage killers, Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both 16, were named by Mrs Justice Yip at their sentencing on Friday (2 February), after the anonymity order that prevented the media from revealing their identities was lifted given the serious nature of their crimes.
Brianna Ghey was stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in her head, neck, chest and back after being lured to Linear Park, Culcheth in Cheshire, on the afternoon of February 11, 2023.
Hundreds of trans people and allies gathered around the UK, including central London, to hold vigils for the 16-year-old in the week after her murder.
On Friday afternoon, Justice Yip sentenced Jenkinson to life with a minimum of 22 years and Ratcliffe to life with a minimum of 20 years, noting that they both took part in a “brutal, planned murder” that was “sadistic in nature” and motivated by “hostility towards Brianna because of her transgender identity.”
Scarlett Jenkinson had “enjoyed” the killing and she found the thought of violence “sexually arousing”, with a desire to kill again, Manchester Crown Court heard.
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Her accomplice, Eddie Ratcliffe, had also expressed transphobia about his victim, Mrs Justice Yip ruled.
In a statement released to local newspaper the Warrington Guardian, Jenkinson’s family said: “All of our thoughts are for Brianna and her family.
“The last 12 months have been beyond our worst nightmares as we have come to realise the brutal truth of Scarlett’s actions.
“We agree with the jury’s verdict, the judge’s sentence and the decision to name the culprits.”
They added that their lives were “in turmoil”, and also thanked Brianna’s mother Esther Ghey for her “incredible selflessness and empathy towards our family”.
“Her compassion is overwhelming and we are forever grateful,” they said.
“To all of Brianna’s family and friends, our community and everyone else that has been affected by this horror, we are truly sorry.”
After Brianna Ghey’s killers were convicted, Esther Ghey called for “empathy and compassion” for their families as “they too have lost a child” and “must live the rest of their lives knowing what their child has done”.
On Thursday, trial judge Mrs Justice Yip warned that anyone tempted to direct “vitriol or malice” towards the defendants’ families would be “acting against the express wishes” of Ms Ghey.
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