A plan to kill Brianna Ghey was found in the bedroom of one of the 16-year-olds accused of her murder, Manchester Crown Court has heard today, Tuesday.
Two teenagers, referred to as girl X and boy Y, are charged with murdering Brianna, a 16-year-old transgender girl who was stabbed in Culcheth Linear Park, Warrington, on February 11.
Continuing to open the case on Tuesday, Deanna Heer KC, prosecuting, told the jury on February 3 that girl X sent boy Y a picture of a handwritten note headed: “Saturday 11th February 2023. Victim: Brianna Ghey.”
The paper, found in girl X’s bedroom after her arrest, said: “Meet boy Y at wooden posts 1pm. Walk down to library … bus stop.
“Wait until Brianna gets off bus then the 3 of us walk to linear park. Go to the pipe/tunnel area.
“I say code word to boy Y. He stabs her in the back as I stab her in the stomach. Boy Y drags the body into the area. We both cover up the area with logs etc.”
Ms Heer said: “It is clearly, the prosecution say, a plan to kill Brianna Ghey.”
On February 10, girl X arranged to meet Brianna and later told boy Y she was “excited as f***” for February 11 after they discussed which knife he would bring, the court heard.
The jury was told that on February 11 girl X and boy Y met shortly before 1pm.
Brianna left her house and boarded a bus to Culcheth, sending her mother a text message at 1.41pm which said: “I’m on the bus by myself, I’m scared.”
The three met just before 2pm and walked to the park, the court heard.
Deanna Heer KC said there were some Snapchat messages between Brianna and girl X while they were in the park.
At 3.06pm a message from Brianna’s phone was sent to girl X, saying: ” Girl where are you?”
Ms Heer said girl X deleted a chat from her Snapchat account seconds later.
She told the jury it was at about that time that the killing must have occurred.
A 999 call was made by Kathryn Vize at 3.13pm, reporting that somebody had been attacked and she had seen the attackers run away.
The court heard Brianna was pronounced dead at 4.02pm and a post-mortem examination found her cause of death was multiple stab wounds.
Deanna Heer KC said: “The number of wounds and the pattern of injuries, taken as a whole, suggests that Brianna was subjected to a sustained and violent assault with a knife.”
She told the court bottles of soft drinks were found at the scene with DNA from girl X and boy Y on, indicating they had been present.
She said they remained together as they walked away from the park and were spotted on dashcam walking together on Wigshaw Lane at 3.15pm.
When the area was searched by police, Brianna’s mobile phone was found hidden in a drain, the jury was told.
The two defendants then separated and went home, Ms Heer said.
She said: “Thereafter, the telephone evidence shows these defendants remained in contact with each other.”
She said they kept each other informed of press reports about the incident in Linear Park while also “feigning ignorance” about what had happened.
Boy Y was also searching online for ways to combat anxiety, the court heard.
The court heard the two defendants exchanged messages shortly after 11pm in which girl X asked boy Y: “Do you have anxiety about getting caught?”
When boy Y replied “probably”, girl X responded: “You’re not going to get caught don’t worry. Police are shite here.”
Deanna Heer KC, prosecuting, said the following day girl X messaged Brianna saying: “Girl, is everything okay? Some teenage girl got killed in Linear Park its on news everywhere.
“And why did you ditch us for some random man from Manchester. Like wtf. That is so f***** up.”
Ms Heer said: “The prosecution say that was an obvious attempt by girl X to set up a sort of false defence, were anybody to look at her phone in due course.”
Deanna Heer KC said girl X lied to her mother and, as a result, her mother called police at about 5pm the day after the murder.
Ms Heer said: “Girl X was with her at the time she called the police and told the police operator that they had been sitting on a bench in the park when Brianna looked at her phone and said she needed to meet some boy, a 17-year-old from Manchester who was going to meet her in his car.
“She said Brianna just stormed off and that was the last time she saw her.”
The court heard girl X later messaged boy Y, repeating the story she had told police and telling him: “Make sure story adds up.”
Girl X then posted a tribute to Brianna on Snapchat, describing her as an “amazing friend” and that it was “so f****** sickening” what had happened.
Ms Heer added: “Meanwhile, boy Y, his internet history shows, was online using the Crown Prosecution Service website, looking at Data Protection Act offences and penalties for supplying or withholding information.
“He was looking up information about measures to support people giving evidence and bail.”
The court heard both defendants were arrested at their homes at about 7.30pm on February 12.
The jury was told when police searched girl X’s bedroom, they found a number of handwritten notes, including the plan to kill Brianna and another plan to kill which said: “Give them alcohol with sleeping pills, slit throat, dismember body, place pieces in bin bags.”
There were also notes about serial killers including Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Ramirez and Harold Shipman, the court heard.
The court heard police found trainers and a black jacket with bloodstains which matched Brianna’s DNA in boy Y’s bedroom.
Deanna Heer KC said: “The prosecution say this pattern of blood staining on boy Y’s trainers and jacket shows that he was right there when Brianna was repeatedly being stabbed.”
A knife with blood matching Brianna’s DNA was also found during the search, Ms Heer said.
The court was told when interviewed by police, girl X said she had gone to Linear Park with Brianna but she left to go and meet a 17-year-old boy from Manchester.
In an interview the next day, she answered no comment to questions, the jury heard.
Ms Heer said in his interview, boy Y told police that girl X had stabbed Brianna.
He said afterwards he went to check if Brianna was alive, got blood on his hands and then “panicked”, and went with girl X when she ran.
In a second police interview, boy Y was asked about messages recovered from his phone, the court heard.
He said he sent girl X messages about torture to make her laugh and was “only joking” when he spoke about wanting to stab a boy.
Boy Y told police he spoke about killing Brianna because he hated not being included with friends.
He said he thought it was wrong but did not say so because he knew girl X would not like him if he did.
The court heard he told police he was joking when he said in messages he would bring his knife to kill Brianna.
He answered no comment when he was asked about the hunting knife found in his bedroom with blood on the blade.
Deanna Heer KC, prosecuting, said both defendants accepted being present with Brianna at the time she was killed and boy Y accepted taking a hunting knife with him.
Ms Heer said both denied inflicting any injuries, participating in the killing in any way and each blamed the other.
She said: “Plainly, they can’t both be telling the truth, can they? But the prosecution does not have to prove who it was that wielded the knife – whether it was one of them or both of them.
“Provided you are sure that they intentionally participated in the killing in some way, well then they are both guilty.”
She said the evidence clearly demonstrated the defendants acted together to bring about Brianna’s death and messages showed they “egged each other on”.
She added: “While each now blames the other, they are both guilty.”
She said it was “telling” that they left the scene together and remained in contact, acting together until they were “confronted with the evidence” and had no choice but to “turn on each other”.