Brianna Ghey’s killers, Eddie Ratcliffe and Scarlett Jenkinson, have been given life sentences, for her ‘sadistic, planned, and brutal’ murder.
The teens had murdered the 16-year-old in a Cheshire park in February 2023.
According to Justice Yip, Jenkinson had a ‘deep desire to kill’, which motivated her actions, while Ratcliffe was motivated in part by Brianna’s transgender identity.
Jenkinson was given 22 years behind bars while Ratcliffe will be detained for 20 years.
At the time of the murder, Ratcliffe and Jenkinson were both 15. During the court sentencing, they both had no visible reaction.
The judge called the murder ‘brutal’, with Brianna having suffered 28 stab wounds. The 16-year-old wouldn’t have lost consciousness immediately either so she would have known she was being stabbed.
In the courtroom, Brianna’s family sat across several benches, with her father nodding as the judge handed down Jenkinson’s sentence.
The relatives of the two teen killers were also present. As the hearing concluded, Jenkinson’s mother could be seen crying.
According to Brianna’s mother, Esther Ghey, who described Ratcliffe and Jenkinson as ‘a danger to society’, the hardest thing to come to terms with was realizing that her daughter’s murderer had been someone whom she thought was her friend.
Following the fatal attack, Alisha Ghey, Brianna’s sister, is also struggling to trust new people.
While Brianna’s father said being the parent of a transgender child had been ‘difficult’, he was also proud to have another daughter.
According to Brianna’s stepfather Wesley Powell, Brianna had a large following online but was lonely and vulnerable in reality. He claimed that both Jenkinson and Ratcliffe knew this and had used it to their advantage.
Jenkinson’s family also made a statement during the trial and apologized to Brianna’s friends and family, for the horrific ordeal, which has left their lives ‘in turmoil.’ They also agreed with the pair’s sentence and decision.
Jenkinson and Ratcliffe
Jenkinson and Ratcliffe had always been fascinated with torture, violence, and murder. Officials also found messages between the two, where they encouraged one another to think about how to plan the killing.
During the trial, however, both teens blamed each other, though Jenkinson later admitted that she had stabbed Brianna after she was convicted. According to prosecutor Deanna Heer, she had taken a knife from Ratcliffe’s hand, after he had thrown her to the floor and stabbed her three or four times.
She then proceeded to stab her numerous times.
Following the pair’s arrest, a crumpled, handwritten ‘murder plan’ was found in Jenkinson’s bedroom. Notes on several serial killers including Richard Ramirez, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Harold Shipman were also found.
Jenkinson and Brianna had met each other in high school and had often hung out together outside of classes.
Jenkinson had been transferred to the school in the fall of 2022 after drugging a younger student at Culcheth High School with a cannabis sweet.
Jenkinson and Ratcliffe, who had known each other since they were in elementary school, had planned the killing for weeks. They also had a ‘kill list’ of five students, before deciding on Brianna.
According to officials, Brianna was stabbed with a hunting knife in Culcheth Linear Park and had suffered stab wounds to her neck, head, and chest.
After carrying out the horrific murder, the teens went home and continued as if nothing happened. They even posted an online tribute for Brianna.
Detectives later discovered the murder weapon in Ratcliffe’s room, with Brianna’s blood on the blade and his DNA on the handle.
The pair will be serving life sentences and will only be considered for parole if officials decide they’re no longer a danger to society.