The teenagers identified as Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both aged 16, were sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum sentence of 20 and 22 years, respectively, for the “sadistic” murder of a young transgender woman in England. The crime, which occurred in February 2023, shocked the country due to its brutality. Brianna Ghey, 16, was lured by Scarlett to a park in broad daylight, where she was killed with 28 stab wounds.
During the trial, both denied having committed the crime and accused each other. The trial found that the two were fascinated by violence, torture and serial murders. The murder was planned by the teenagers, aged 15 at the time, for weeks, as revealed by handwritten plans and messages obtained by detectives.
Police ruled out the possibility of hate crime and transphobia after finding evidence that the pair were planning other murders. Authorities concluded that Brianna was killed because she was “vulnerable and accessible”, as she saw the girl as a friend, and that the criminals did it out of “fun” and “thirst to kill”. The girl received a minimum sentence of two years longer, as she was identified as the leader of the heinous crime.
“The two appear to have exerted a deadly influence on each other and turned what may have begun as dark fantasies about murder into reality,” said Crown prosecutor Nicola Wyn Williams. Neither of them showed a visible reaction upon receiving the sentence.
Under English law, young people who have committed offenses have their identity protected until they turn 18. In this case, however, judge Amanda Yip lifted the restriction after the end of the trial as she understood that there is a “strong public interest in the full and unrestricted reporting of what is clearly an exceptional case”. Before sentencing, they were identified as “Girl X” and “Boy Y”.
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