Brianna Ghey: what court has heard about death of transgender teen

The two teenage suspects each blame the other for the murder

Brianna Ghey
(Image credit: Family handout)

A plan to kill Brianna Ghey was found in the bedroom of one of the 16-year-olds accused of her murder, a court has heard.

Two suspects, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were arrested four days after the killing of the transgender teenager and are standing trial at Manchester Crown Court. Her alleged killers, who have both pleaded not guilty, are accused of planning the murder "over several weeks, if not months", said The Guardian.

Who was Brianna Ghey?

Ghey was a 16-year-old transgender girl and a Year 11 pupil at Birchwood Community High School. Her parents described her as "a larger-than-life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her".

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Ghey came out as trans at the age of 14 and had "dreamed of being TikTok famous", said the Daily Mail. Speaking to The Guardian, her mother, Esther, said she supported the transition. "It didn't bother me," she said. "It was just something that Brianna wanted to do and I was happy. As long as she was happy then that's all that mattered."

But friends said she was bullied for years without any intervention. She was "bullied and gang beaten for years for the simple reason of being trans", a friend told The Sun.

Brianna was found with multiple stab wounds in Linear Park in Culcheth, a village that sits between Liverpool and Manchester, on 11 February. Her body was discovered by dog walkers.

After news of the killing was released to the media, the family of Ghey said they had been "overwhelmed" by "support, positivity and compassion" from across the country, police said.

What has the court heard so far?

A plan to kill Ghey was found in the bedroom of one of the 16-year-olds accused of her murder, the court has heard.

Two teenagers, referred to as girl X and boy Y, are charged with murdering Ghey.

Deanna Heer KC, prosecuting, told the jury that, on 3 February, girl X sent boy Y a picture of a handwritten note headed: "Saturday 11th February 2023. Victim: Brianna Ghey."

The document went on to suggest that the pair would walk to the park with Ghey and both stab her, before covering up her body with logs. Heer said: "It is clearly, the prosecution say, a plan to kill Brianna Ghey."

Ghey was stabbed 28 times with a 13cm hunting knife that boy Y had bought six weeks earlier, the court heard. "Many of the stab wounds had caused damage to her bones, including her chest bone and her ribs, and would have required considerable force to inflict," said Heer. "There can be no doubt that she was the victim of a sustained and violent assault."

The court has also heard that the teenage girl accused of murdering Ghey posted an online tribute to her after the killing, saying she was "such an amazing friend". Girl X posted the tribute on Snapchat, saying: "Brianna was one of the best people I have ever met and such an amazing friend its so f**king sickening what got done to her."

Girl X had an interest in serial killers, including Jeffrey Dahmer and Harold Shipman, the jury heard. She told boy Y that she had killed two people before, but there is no evidence to suggest she had committed other murders, the court heard. Nevertheless, said Heer, messages recovered from the phones of girl X and boy Y showed a "preoccupation" with "violence, torture and death", said the BBC.

Both defendants accept they were with Ghey when she was killed but "each blames the other", said Heer. "The prosecution case is that, whoever it was who delivered the fatal blow or blows, both defendants are equally guilty."

The trial, which is expected to last between three and four weeks, continues.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us