Ian Acheson Ian Acheson

Should Brianna Ghey’s killers ever be released?

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In the wicked murder of poor Brianna Ghey, it’s not hyperbole to say the Devil is in the details. Thousands of text messages sent between her two teenage killers were divulged in a court case that describe a moral void in their lives that veers between the banal and the satanic.

It is clear that Brianna was not the first target for these would-be spree killers, obsessed with torture and death. Four other boys were targeted by her male and female assailants, both 15, prior to her murder. The girl, perpetrator ‘X’ in the court case, to protect her identity messaged the boy accomplice ‘Y’ when they were discussing ways of killing one of them: ‘If we kill (him) can I keep some things, a couple of teeth and an eye?’ In Brianna’s case when they discussed ways of killing her X opined, ‘Let’s just stab her. It’s more fun.’ And stab her they did. After befriending Brianna, she was lured to a lonely spot in a country park in a suburb or Warrington and set upon with extraordinary ferocity suffering 28 separate wounds in the head, neck and trunk.  

The time and effort required to carry out such a sustained assault on a defenceless youngster reveals a depraved indifference to suffering that is almost impossible to comprehend. Any parent will understand the unbearable anguish of Brianna’s mother who thought her child was finding acceptance and broadening her horizons with new friends when in fact she was being delivered into the hands of her callous executioners.

The jury in this trial at Manchester Crown Court found child X and Y guilty of murder by unanimous verdict after barely four hours of deliberation. The only sentence available to the Judge Amanda Yip KC is life imprisonment which for young people under 18 means ‘detention during His Majesty’s Pleasure’. While

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Ian Acheson
Written by
Ian Acheson
Professor Ian Acheson is a former prison governor. He was also Director of Community Safety at the Home Office

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