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Brianna Ghey suspects ‘exchanged texts about Sweeney Todd’

Brianna Ghey was the victim of an attack in Culcheth Linear Park, near Warrington, Cheshire, Feb 11
Brianna Ghey was the victim of an attack in Culcheth Linear Park, near Warrington, Cheshire, Feb 11 - Family handout/Cheshire Police/PA

A teenage girl accused of the murder of Brianna Ghey texted her alleged accomplice the night before the killing to discuss how Sweeney Todd “killed with one slip”, a court heard.

The two 16-year-olds, who can only be identified as girl X and boy Y, are accused of stabbing Brianna, a transgender student, who was also 16, to death in a “sustained and violent” assault. They deny murder.

She was allegedly murdered by the pair in Culcheth Linear Park, near Warrington, Cheshire, on Feb 11 this year.

On Wednesday, jurors at Manchester Crown Court were shown messages exchanged between the pair, who were 15 at the time, before the killing.

The court heard the girl texted her co-accused on Feb 10 to tell him she was watching her “favourite film”.

She added: “I am watching it for, like, the 9000th time. You should watch it – Sweeney Todd. He kills people with one of the sharpest blades in the world. One slip and it slices things very deep.”

The pair then discussed which knife they should use for the killing the following day. Boy Y said: “The hunting knife I showed you in person as well as on the phone.”  The girl asked if it would “definitely 100 per cent kill her”, to which boy Y replied: “Yes.”

‘Obsession with serial killers’

The court also heard that the girl had an obsession with serial killers, in particular Richard Ramirez, known as The Night Stalker.

She told her alleged accomplice: “I could talk about him for like two hours, including quotes and dates of stuff.”

Another exchange heard in court detailed plans to kill Brianna a week earlier, on Jan 28, which had to be aborted because she cancelled a meeting at the last minute.

The jury was told that boy Y had resisted pleas by girl X to kill Brianna during the week because he needed to go to school and do revision.

In the January 28 messages, X tells Y: “I do not want to wait. I want it done asap. I want to see the pure horror on her face and hear her scream in pain.”

Boy Y followed proceedings via a video link from the secure unit where he is being held. He was seen playing with a fidget toy which Judge Mrs Justice Yip told the jury was something which helped people with autism. She said girl X also had a similar toy with her in the dock at the court.

Mrs Justice Yip added: “Whatever helps to manage conditions I’m perfectly happy with. Whatever helps us get through the evidence, that’s helpful.”

The trial continues.