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Judge to decide if media can publish names of Brianna Ghey’s teenage killers

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Judge to decide if media can publish names of Brianna Ghey’s teenage killers

A judge will decide whether to lift anonymity orders protecting the identities of Brianna Ghey’s teenage killers, and allow the media to publish their names, at a hearing on Thursday.

Brianna, 16, was stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in her head, neck, chest and back after being lured to Linear Park, Culcheth, a village near Warrington, Cheshire, on the afternoon of February 11.

Her killers, identified only as girl X and boy Y – both now aged 16 but 15 at the time, had denied murder and each blamed the other for the killing of the transgender teenager, described as “horrific” by detectives.

Trial judge Mrs Justice Yip said she will deal with an application by the press to publish the defendants’ names at a hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

At the same court on Wednesday, she also adjourned sentencing to an unconfirmed later date, making clear to the convicted pair that they faced life sentences.

Intelligent, “high functioning” and coming from normal backgrounds, the trial heard the defendants had a fascination for violence, torture and murder – and had a “thirst for killing”.

Their lawyers asked for time for the preparation of psychologists’ reports before they are sentenced.

Mrs Justice Yip agreed, but added: “Frankly I don’t expect them to make a huge difference to the outcome in sentencing but given their ages and the unusual circumstances of the case, I think it is right I have all the information available.

“I’m very conscious that no doubt the family of Brianna would want this case to be concluded as soon as possible.”

Deanna Heer KC, prosecuting, said Brianna’s mother, Esther, would like to read her victim impact statement before the sentencing hearing, adding: “They understand the court wants the further assistance of medical reports.”

Speaking outside court after the verdicts, Esther Ghey said: “To now know how scared my usually fearless child must have been when she was alone in the park with someone that she called her friend will haunt me forever.”

Shortly after, Brianna’s father Peter Spooner told reporters: “My heart bleeds every day for Brianna, and this will never go away – and the amount of guilt I have can sometimes be unbearable. But I will ensure her memory lives on in my thoughts and dreams.”

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