The 16-year-old was stabbed 28 times in a park in Cheshire by pair with a “thirst for killing”.
A boy and a girl who had a fascination with violence and torture have been found guilty of murdering Brianna Ghey.
The 16-year-old, who was transgender, was stabbed 28 times in a “ferocious” attack in a park in Cheshire.
Girl X and boy Y, who cannot be named due to their age, had blamed each other for the killing but were convicted of her murder at Manchester Crown Court.
Brianna’s mother Esther said the pair had not shown “an ounce of remorse” and she had “lost all sympathy” for them.
“To know how scared my usually fearless child must have been when she was alone in that park with someone that she called her friend will haunt me forever,” she said, as her voice broke with emotion.
Her father Peter Spooner said he was “so proud” of his daughter and would never stop loving her.
“When she was little, I remember the faces she would pull to make me laugh,” he said, while fighting back tears.
“The cheeky giggle, the funny dances are engraved in my memory.”
There were gasps in court as the verdicts were delivered after four hours and 40 minutes of deliberations.
The two teenagers, who are now 16 years old, showed no emotion from the dock.
Judge Mrs Justice Yip told the pair she would “have to impose a life sentence”.
“What I have to decide is the minimum amount of time you will be required to serve before you might be considered for release,” she said.
“I’m not going to do that this week. I’m going to ask for some reports in relation to each of you.”
She said she would deal with an application by the media to be allowed to publish the names of the teenagers on Thursday.
A sentencing hearing is due to take place in the new year.
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The 18-day trial had heard the pair were intelligent, “high functioning” and came from normal backgrounds, but had a “thirst for killing”.
Neither had been in trouble with police before.
Brianna, who had thousands of followers on TikTok, was in reality a withdrawn, shy and anxious teenager who struggled with depression and rarely left her home.
The pair, who were 15 at the time of the killing, planned the murder for weeks before killing Brianna in Culcheth Linear Park in Warrington on the afternoon of 11 February.
A handwritten “murder plan” of how to carry out the killing was found in girl X’s bedroom following her arrest.
The pair also drew up a “kill list” of five children, before settling on Brianna as their target.
On the day of her death, Brianna was lured to the park by girl X before being attacked with a hunting knife in broad daylight, suffering stab wounds to her head, neck, chest and back.
The pair had planned to conceal her body in the park but were spotted by a couple walking their dogs and fled the scene.
Both teenagers went home and carried on as if nothing had happened with girl X later posting an online tribute with a photo of Brianna.
The jury heard girl X admitted to police that she enjoyed “dark fantasies”, but claimed to have no intention to ever turn them into reality, while boy Y said he went along with them and did not take them seriously.
Both had also claimed they never expected the other to act on them and gave the same explanation of the crime, suggesting their own back was turned when the other began stabbing Brianna.
In an interview with the BBC ahead of the verdict, Brianna’s mother said she would never forget her daughter’s unwavering bravery and strength.
“She was fearless to be whoever she wanted to be,” she said.
“She wanted to identify as a female and she wanted to wear girls’ school uniform. She just did it – it wasn’t a hurdle at all for her.”
Speaking outside the hearing, deputy chief crown prosecutor Ursula Doyle said girl X and boy Y had been “a deadly influence on each other and turned what may have started out as dark fantasies about murder into a reality”.
“The pages and pages of Whatsapp messages between the two, planning and plotting to kill people, talking of murder, torture and cruelty were very difficult to read,” she said.
She said the messages “provided a terrifying insight” into the minds of the pair, but the jury had “clearly seen their explanations for the lies that they were”.
Cheshire Police’s Det Ch Supt Mike Evans said it became clear early on that the pair believed they could cover their tracks.
Girl X, who the court heard had traits of autism and ADHD, even assured boy Y, who had been diagnosed with selective mutism and autism spectrum disorder, that he would not be caught, criticising the capabilities of police in the area.
He said the pair were “really high functioning, intelligent children”.
“I know people… will have this sort of image that they’ve built themselves, but actually they’re both really clever kids and very bright, very articulate,” he said.
“Their downfall has been their confidence or arrogance around the fact that they thought that they could take another human life and then thought there would be no comeuppance.”