In England, two teenagers sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of young transgender Brianna Ghey

Two 16-year-old teenagers were sentenced on Friday February 2 to life in prison with security sentences of 20 and 22 years by British courts for the stabbing murder of young transgender Brianna Ghey

In England, two teenagers sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of young transgender Brianna Ghey

Two 16-year-old teenagers were sentenced on Friday February 2 to life in prison with security sentences of 20 and 22 years by British courts for the stabbing murder of young transgender Brianna Ghey.

The murder of the 16-year-old girl in February 2023 caused great emotion in the United Kingdom. Reflecting the shock experienced, the Manchester court took the exceptional decision to reveal the names of these two minors, Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, described during the inquest as being fascinated by “violence, torture and death ”, with a real “thirst to kill”.

On February 11, 2023, the two teenagers stabbed Brianna Ghey around 30 times in the head, neck, chest and back with a hunting knife, after luring her to a park near Warrington in the area of Liverpool, where she resided. After the murder, police found a jacket with traces of Brianna Ghey's blood in Scarlett Jenkinson's bedroom, and the murder weapon, stained with blood, at Eddie Ratcliffe's house.

During the four-week trial in December, Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe blamed each other for the murder. They were both finally found guilty in December, without this verdict arousing any reaction from them.

Transphobic comments against Brianna

A few days later, Scarlett Jenkinson – whom Brianna Ghey considered her friend according to the victim's mother – admitted for the first time to a psychiatrist having stabbed her, prosecutor Deanna Heer told the court on Friday. The 16-year-old girl thus confessed to having “snatched the knife from the hands of Eddie”, who did not know the victim before the murder, and dealt the majority of the blows, saying she was “satisfied and excited by what she was doing ".

Before taking action, these young people had planned the murder of the teenager for weeks by sending dozens of text messages to each other. The accused also sent her co-defendant a photo of a handwritten note on which was written: “Saturday February 11, 2023. Victim: Brianna Ghey”, detailing each step by which they planned to go about killing her. If certain messages from Eddie Ratcliffe include transphobic comments against Brianna, the motivation for Scarlett Jenkinson's action was “the desire to kill,” the judge emphasized.

According to the investigation, Scarlett Jenkinson, who appeared at first glance to be a "normal child, from a normal family", was fascinated by serial killers, torture videos, and "obsessed with Brianna". “I don't believe that a person so disturbed and obsessed with murder and torture can ever be rehabilitated,” said the victim's mother, Esther Ghey, insisting that the teenagers had shown no remorse during the audience.

The investigation revealed that both defendants suffered from, among other things, autistic disorders, with Eddie Ratcliffe having “gradually stopped speaking” after his arrest. He testified by typing on a keyboard during the trial. The defendants, who were 15 years old at the time of the crime, kept a “kill list” with the names of other potential victims. “This is one of the most disturbing cases I have ever dealt with. The planning, the violence and the age of the killers are beyond comprehension,” admitted prosecutor Ursula Doyle.

According to a count by the NGO Trans Murder Monitoring, at least 321 transphobic murders took place around the world in 2023, while most cases continue to go unrecorded.