Brianna Ghey's mother recalls how police told her they'd found a body

Devastated mother of murdered trans teenager Brianna Ghey chokes back tears as she recalls moment police told her they’d found her daughter’s body

  • Follow every detail of the case on The Mail’s acclaimed podcast The Trial 
  • Read more: Two teenagers are found guilty of murdering Brianna Ghey

The mother of Brianna Ghey has described the harrowing moment police officers told her they had found her daughter’s body after two teenagers were today convicted of her murder.

Esther Grey teared up as she recalled her ‘fearless’ daughter and told how she joked ‘I’ll have to ring the police’ as she became concerned when Brianna did not return home.

Two torture-obsessed 16-year-olds, who were 15 at the time of the killing, were today convicted by a jury after Brianna was discovered with 28 stab wounds at Culcheth Linear Park near Warrington, Cheshire, on February 11.

Both Girl X and Boy Y, who cannot be named for legal reasons, blamed one another for the brutal attack which left Brianna with ‘unsurvivable’ stab wounds to her head, neck, chest and back, including one which severed her jugular vein and another which penetrated her heart. 

Ms Grey today told the BBC: ‘She was fearless to be whoever she wanted to be. She wanted to identify as a female and she wanted to wear girls’ school uniform. 

Brianna Ghey, 16, died after being stabbed 28 times at Culcheth Linear Park near Warrington, Cheshire, in February

Brianna Ghey’s mother Esther arrives at Manchester Crown Court last month for the start of proceedings

Recalling the moment she was told police had found a body, Ms Grey said she returned home to find her front door open

‘She just did it it wasn’t a hurdle at all for her.’

Recalling the moment police told her Brianna had been found dead, Ms Grey said: ‘I sort of joked and said that if Brianna doesn’t come home soon I’ll probably have to ring the police. 

‘We got to the front door and the front door was open, and it was two policemen stood in the house and they said that they’d found a body. 

‘The first thing I said to them was that I knew, I knew that something was going to happen.’

Brianna’s headteacher also remembered the teenager as ‘loud and proud and confident’.

Speaking to the BBC, Emma Mills said: ‘There was never any evidence of Brianna being bullied within school or out of school. Brianna was very much able to give as good as she got in that way.

‘And I think what was really hard was that she was portrayed in the media as a victim and she didn’t live her life as a victim.

‘She was someone that was loud and proud and confident in who she was.’

Brianna’s murder sent shockwaves across the UK and a public outpouring of anger saw multiple vigils held in the days following her death.

The two teens had plotted to kill the schoolgirl using the 13cm blade to slit her throat and dismember her body.

The ‘frenzied’ and ‘savage’ attack followed weeks of messages between the pair in which they collected a list of five children they wanted to kill. 

During their murder trial, both of the teenagers attempted to wash their hands of the slaying, blaming each other for Brianna’s killing, with each telling the court their backs were turned when the other defendant began plunging the knife into her. 

The court heard how Brianna was found by dog walkers in Linear Park shortly after 3pm on Saturday, February 11. Her bloodied body was discovered face down in mud, having been stabbed to the head, neck, back and chest.

Her jugular vein had also been severed, causing ‘catastrophic blood loss’, while another knife blow penetrated Brianna’s heart. The teen was pronounced dead at the scene at 4.02pm.

Esther Grey described Brianna as ‘fearless’ and said being transgender ‘wasn’t a hurdle at all’

Brianna, 16, was found with fatal wounds on a path in the park near her home. She had messaged her mother on the way to the park to say she was ‘scared’

Brianna Ghey’s father Peter Spooner arriving at Manchester Crown Court 

The note – headed ‘Saturday 11th February 2023. Victim: Brianna Ghey’ – was found alongside jottings about serial killers including Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Ramirez and Harold Shipman

Following today’s guilty verdicts, the Crown Prosecution Service released an image of the knife 

The prosecution told jurors they did not need to determine who delivered the fatal blows to find both guilty, as they were ‘in it together’ from start to finish.

READ MORE: How Brianna Ghey’s warped killer watched torture and death on the dark web: Experts say Girl X became ‘de-sensitised’ and ‘goaded’ into murder after accessing live streams of being physically abused in ‘red rooms’ 

A jury of seven men and five women convicted the two following a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court after four hours and 40 minutes of deliberations. 

Neither defendant, sat next to a social worker each and surrounded by six security staff filling the dock, made any visible reaction as the jury foreman delivered the guilty verdicts.

Boy Y’s mother’s head slumped down on to the shoulder of a friend sat beside her and began crying.

Trial judge Mrs Justice Yip told jurors she will not pass sentence this week.

She told the jury: ‘All 12 of you have provided outstanding service. No doubt when you came to court you did not anticipate such an emotionally difficult one as this one.’

She told the two defendants: ‘I will 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.

‘I’m not going to do that this week. I’m going to ask for some reports in relation to each of you.’

She excused jurors from serving on a jury again for life before adjourning the court hearing briefly.

Girl X, wearing a pinafore style dress, spoke to her social worker and glanced at her parents leaving the courtroom.

Boy Y, who avoids all eye contact, did not look over at his mother as he was led from the dock carrying his Sudoku puzzles book.

She continued sobbing uncontrollably while being hugged by her friend.

The court is expected to reconvene shortly to discuss a sentencing date for the defendants.

The trial had heard how at age 14, Girl X had downloaded an app to enjoy watching videos of the torture and murder of real people, in ‘red rooms’ on the ‘dark web’.

Brianna Grey was stabbed 28 times with a hunting knife on February 11, a court has been told

She grew an interest in serial killers, making notes on their methods, and admitted enjoying ‘dark fantasies’ about killing and torture, the pair living in a secret world of warped interests in murder and cruelty, the court heard.

READ MORE: Heartbroken mother of murdered Brianna Ghey launches ‘mindfulness’ campaign in her daughter’s memory to urge school children to behave with ’empathy and compassion’ to one another 

They drew up a ‘Kill list’ of four other youths they intended to harm, until Brianna had the ‘misfortune’ to be befriended by Girl X, who became ‘obsessed’ with her.

Brianna had thousands of followers on TikTok, but in reality was a withdrawn, shy and anxious teenager who struggled with depression and rarely left her home.

Girl X told her accomplice she wanted to stab Brianna ‘jus coz its fun lol… I want to see the pure horror on her face and hear her scream’.

She got her wish after luring Brianna to the park on a Saturday afternoon, believing she was going to ‘hang out’ with friends.

Their dark fantasies were about to become reality, the court heard, Girl X chillingly telling Brianna when she caught the bus to meet them to buy not a return but only a single ticket – and reminding boy Y about his knife.

A witness in the park was playing hide and seek with his children when he passed the teenagers.

He felt as if he had interrupted something and they were waiting for him to pass.

Girl X had talked about ‘trophies’ taken during killing plans and took a last photo of Brianna on her phone in the park.

A terrifying series of messages between the pair revealed how the Girl X admitted to watching torture porn and had a ‘really sharp blade’ 

Then at around 3pm Brianna, who had been seen sat on a bench, was suddenly attacked, possibly initially from behind, with a hunting knife with a 13cm blade, brought to the park by Boy Y.

Each defendant blamed the other and it is not known which one or if both wielded the knife.

Brianna was ‘stabbed and stabbed and stabbed’ in a ‘frenzied and ferocious’ attack.

She instinctively tried to cover up – tendons in her hands and arms slashed in a futile attempt to fend off her attacker.

Brianna suffered 28 stab wounds, 14 to her head and neck, 14 to her chest, back and sides.

The blade cut her throat, puncturing her heart and lungs and the blows were delivered with enough force to damage the bones of her ribs, vertebrae and sternum.

As she lay dying Girl X sent a message to her victim’s phone, ‘Girl, where are you?’, to set up her cover story of Brianna leaving them to go off with another youth.

Seconds later Girl X deleted a Snapchat conversation with Brianna, showing ‘cool and calculated’ presence of mind.

Detectives found the murder weapon with Brianna’s blood on the blade in Boy Y’s bedroom, along with heavily blood-stained clothing and trainers.

At Girl X’s home they found a handwritten note detailing the murder plan and naming Brianna as the victim.

Messages on their phones detailed their fascination with murder, torture and death, plans to kill other children and an earlier attempt to poison Brianna with an overdose.

The gruesome murder of a transgender teenager in a public park prompted candlelit vigils worldwide protesting against perceived transphobia.

Detectives believe Brianna was killed because she was vulnerable and accessible, with her death not a hate crime but done for ‘enjoyment’ and a ‘thirst for killing’.

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