Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe were today sentenced to life sentences for the “brutal, planned and sadistic” murder of Brianna Ghey. The 16-year-old was brutally attacked in a park in Cheshire, United Kingdom, in February 2023.
At her trial at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Mrs Justice Yip characterized Jenkinson as motivated by a “deep desire to kill”, while Ratcliffe’s motivation was, in part, hostility to Brianna’s transgender identity. He was jailed for 20 years, while Jenkinson received a 22-year sentence.
The cruel attack on Brianna Ghey
During the reading of the sentence, Judge Yip emphasized the brutality of the attack in which Brianna suffered 28 stab wounds. “Taken together, the injuries point to an extremely violent and prolonged assault.“, said the judge, adding that Brianna “unfortunately, must not have lost consciousness immediately and must have realized that she was being attacked”.
The young woman’s family members were present during the sentencing. Brianna’s father, Peter Spooner, nodded in agreement as Jenkinson’s sentence was handed down. Ratcliffe’s mother was crying at the end of the hearing.
The motivation of the killers
Judge Yip emphasized that although Jenkinson was the driving force behind the crime, it would be a mistake to regard Ratcliffe as being under Scarlett’s control. She added that the messages sent by Ratcliffe were “transphobic and dehumanizing”, showing that he “undoubtedly demonstrated hostility to Brianna based on her transgender identity“.
Brianna’s mother, Esther Ghey, said in a statement read in court before the sentencing that Jenkinson and Ratcliffe will always represent “a danger to society”. She said: “I would never want them to have the opportunity to fulfill their sadistic fantasies on another child“.
Awareness of your actions
During the trial, Jenkinson and Ratcliffe blamed each other for Brianna’s murder. However, the prosecution revealed that Jenkinson admitted to a psychiatrist that she had stabbed Brianna. Deanna Heer KC, prosecuting officer, stated: “She grabbed the knife from Eddie’s hands and stabbed Brianna repeatedly.”
Judge Yip noted that Jenkinson now wanted to “paint himself in the worst possible light, given his admiration for notorious murderers”.