A photo released by Cheshire Constabulary of Brianna Ghey, she is sat at a park bench smiling towards the camera and wearing a brown stripey knit jumper, her hair is in a messy bun and she is wearing a pair of black glasses

Brianna Ghey: Government must build better world for trans youth says charity

A transgender support group in London has called on the government to build a better world for trans youth following the conviction of two 16-year-olds in the murder of Brianna Ghey.

Brianna was stabbed 28 times with a hunting knife in an attack in Linear Park in Cheshire, on 11 February.

Following four hours and 40 minutes of deliberation, a jury of seven men and five women at Manchester Crown Court found the two teenagers unanimously guilty of murder.

A spokesperson for Mermaids, a London-based gender variant and transgender youth support charity, said: “Our thoughts are with the loved ones of Brianna Ghey and all those affected by this senseless act of violence, and we hope the verdict brings a measure of peace and solace to her family. 

“Trans people deserve to live free from violence, bullying and isolation, and we hope Brianna’s memory will help encourage our leaders to stop playing politics with our lives and instead build a better world for trans youth to grow up in.”

Protestors hold up a placard reading "Justice 4 Brianna Ghey. Protect our trans girls"
PROTEST: Protestors at a Brianna Ghey protest hold up a placard. Image credit: Steve Eason, Flickr

A female referred to as Girl X and a male identified as Boy Y, who cannot be named due to legal constraints, denied murdering the 16-year-old and blamed each other for the killing, described as one of the most distressing by police.

The jury heard about the duo’s interest in torture and violence, along with evidence of premeditation in the form of a handwritten note from Girl X, which detailed the plan for Brianna’s murder.

Further information was documented in text messages between the two on the instant messaging service, WhatsApp.

Last year in England and Wales, a record breaking 4,732 incidents of hate crimes targeting transgender individuals took place, marking an 11% increase from the previous year, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Earlier this year, almost a thousand people gathered at a vigil outside the Department for Education (DfE) in Great Smith Street to pay tribute to Brianna.

A minute’s silence was held, and gatherers lit candles to represent trans people who had been unlawfully killed.

Attendees held placards that read “protect trans youth” and “rest in pride Brianna Ghey”.

A picture of a candle, lit at a vigil, to pay tribute to and in memory of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey who was brutally murdered by two teenagers in a park in Cheshire on 11 February 2023.
TRIBUTES: A candle lit in memory of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey. Image Credit: KSAG Photography, Flickr

Associate Director of Communications Sasha Misra from Stonewall, a London based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity, said: “Brianna’s senseless, violent death has sent shockwaves through the trans community, many of whom will recognise from their own experience the dehumanising language used towards her by the perpetrators.

“Our thoughts are with Brianna and her loved ones, who supported her in living as her authentic self.”

Whilst the motive for Brianna’s murder is still unclear, the judge, Mrs Justice Yip, said reporting restrictions preventing the defendants from being named will be lifted at their sentencing hearing early next year.

In response to the verdicts, Esther Ghey, Brianna’s mother said: “Prior to the trial I had moments where I felt sorry for the defendants because they had ruined their own lives as well as ours.

“But now, knowing the true nature and seeing neither display an ounce of remorse for what they have done to Brianna, I have lost all sympathy that I may have previously had for them.

“And I am glad that they will spend many years in prison and away from society.”

A UK government spokesperson said: “The government has a proud history of advancing LGBT rights and one of the most robust legislative protection frameworks for LGBT people in the world.

“There is no place for hate crime in our society, it does not reflect the values of modern Britain, and we remain committed to ensuring these abhorrent offences are stamped out – which is why we have a robust framework to tackle it wherever it is found.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by this story, the Mermaids helpline is available every weekday evening: 0808 801 0400.”

Featured image credit: Cheshire Constabulary

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