Teenager given life sentence for murder of Ava White

·3-min read

A teenage boy has been sentenced to a minimum of 13 years for the murder of 12-year-old Ava White.

The 15-year-old was given a life sentence on Monday for the fatal stabbing, which happened in Liverpool city centre on November 25 last year.

Sentencing him at Liverpool Crown Court, Mrs Justice Yip said: “There is only one reason why Ava is dead and that is because you chose to carry a knife and you chose to get it out and use it.

“You enjoyed carrying a knife. You were showing it off to your friends earlier that evening.

“It was a nasty weapon and you should not have had it.”

Ava White death
A teenage boy has been sentenced for killing Ava (Merseyside Police/PA)

Addressing the court, Ava’s mother Leanne said: “My beloved Ava dies all over again every morning I wake up.

“My Ava dies again every moment she is not with us for the rest of our lives.”

The defendant, appearing via videolink, covered his face with his hand as Ms White and her older daughter Mia, 18, tearfully addressed the court, where more than 20 of Ava’s family and friends were in the public gallery.

The defendant, who was 14 at the time of Ava’s death, stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck following a row over a Snapchat video.

He claimed he accidentally stabbed her in self defence but a jury convicted him of murder following a two-week trial in May.

The court heard the boy, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attended a special school, had previously been subject to a community resolution notice after hitting a PCSO last July.

Mrs Justice Yip said the defendant was arrested in May last year for assault on two women but the case had not been to trial at the time of Ava’s death.

By August last year it was suspected he was being exploited by known criminals, she said.

Nick Johnson QC, defending, said the defendant was carrying the knife because he had previously been a victim of crime.

Referring to a pre-sentence report on the defendant, Mr Johnson said: “One of the things that shines out is the suggestion that as part of his background he had been desensitised to violence, and that is not as a perpetrator of violence.”

The court heard his father had been violent towards his mother and was jailed in 2015.

The court was told Ava and her friends became involved in an argument with the defendant and three of his friends after the boys recorded Snapchat videos of the group.

Friends of Ava said the boy “grinned” after stabbing her in School Lane, just after 8.30pm.

Ava White death
The knife used to stab 12-year-old Ava (CPS/PA)

The court heard that after Ava was struck in the neck the defendant ran away, discarded his knife and took off his coat, which was later found in a wheelie bin.

CCTV showed him and his friends in a shop where the defendant took a selfie and the group bought butter, which he said was for crumpets.

He then went to a friend’s home and when his mother contacted him because police wanted to speak to him, he told her he was playing a computer game.

After he was arrested, just after 10.30pm, he initially told police he had not been in the city centre but in later interviews blamed another boy for the stabbing.

Mrs Justice Yip said: “The lack of signs of remorse immediately after Ava had been killed and indeed at trial has understandably caused Ava’s family further distress.”

The boy pleaded guilty before trial to possession of an offensive weapon but was given no separate sentence for the offence.

Applications from the media for reporting restrictions to be lifted on the defendant’s identity were refused by the judge.

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