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Brianna Ghey: How the vulnerable teen was lured to her death | UK News

Brianna Ghey: How the vulnerable teen was lured to her death | UK News
Brianna Ghey: How the vulnerable teen was lured to her death | UK News

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Dressed in a white, fluffy hoodie, her long red hair neatly straightened and her head buried in her phone, Brianna Ghey was like any other teenager leaving home that Saturday morning.

But in two hours, she would be dead, her pristine jumper and white knee-high socks smeared with mud and blood, after she was brutally attacked by two of her peers and left face down in the dirt.

Brianna Ghey
Image:
Brianna Ghey leaving her home on 11 February

Earlier that morning, the teen had received a text from her new friend, Scarlett Jenkinson, telling her to come to Culcheth Library just after 1.30pm. Jenkinson told Brianna exactly which bus to board, instructing her to buy a child’s single ticket.

She would not make a return journey.

After leaving home, and texting her mum that the dogs were safely locked away, Brianna made a 25-minute walk to the bus stop at Birchwood train station. There was a bus stop less than 200m from her front door, but she walked over a mile to the stop Jenkinson had told her to use.

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CCTV shows Brianna Ghey on bus before death

Live as it happened: Ratcliffe and Jenkinson’s sentencing

The bus driver remembered Brianna boarding – to him, she seemed timid. She spoke quietly and gave the impression she wanted to be left alone.

Tragically, the number 28 bus would pass her home one final time as it made its journey to Culcheth.

The bus route Brianna took
Image:
The bus route Brianna took

Brianna was an anxious child, and texted her mother: “I’m on the bus by myself, I’m scared.”

But her mum was proud of her daughter for pushing herself out of her comfort zone and replied: “That’s well good.”

Brianna would never read her message.

Read more: Teenager killers named for first time

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The killers were seen fleeing the scene

At 1.53pm, she met Jenkinson and Jenkinson’s friend, Eddie Ratcliffe, at the stop outside the local library. Brianna and Ratcliffe had not met before, and would barely exchange a word for the next hour.

The group walked past the local Sainsbury’s, where just minutes earlier, the two teenage killers had bought bottles of Dr Pepper and Coca-Cola. DNA on these bottles would later pin them to the scene of the crime.

After they turned right into an alleyway next to a Thai restaurant, the group was last seen crossing Glebeland Road, heading towards Linear Park at 2.02pm.

Brianna had little more than an hour left to live.

The trio walked through a network of alleyways to reach the park
Image:
The trio walked through a network of alleyways to reach the park

Into the park

Linear Park is a large but narrow piece of woodland surrounded by fields. It follows the direction of a disused railway line, with paths at two levels, and benches dotted across the route.

Several people in the park saw Brianna walking with Jenkinson and Ratcliffe. One father, who was playing hide and seek with his children among the trees, saw them at the bottom of a series of steps.

He said as he went to hide behind a tree, he saw Jenkinson climb the steps and look for him. Minutes later, Ratcliffe did the same – they appeared to be checking to see where he had gone.

Brianna Ghey's killers  Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe
Image:
Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe

The teenagers ambled through the park together for around a mile, messaging each other on Snapchat at the same time. Some, but not all, of these messages have been recovered.

At 2.15pm, Brianna sent a message to Jenkinson saying: “Girl, Ima wait where I am until we have drugs lol. I’m too anxious.”

She was expecting they were going to take drugs, as Jenkinson had previously suggested.

Read more: Brianna’s father says ‘evil killers’ should be forgotten

Brianna Ghey
Pic:Cheshire Police
Image:
Brianna Ghey was murdered in Linear Park last February. Pic: Cheshire Police

Indeed, Jenkinson was supposedly messaging a dealer at the same time, yet this all turned out to be an elaborate ruse.

Evidence obtained from her digital devices shows that she had set up a fake Snapchat account called rowan.innit1 which she was using to message a fake dealer called Nathan.

She sent him messages saying, “We are here now” and “Come and meet us”.

Brianna’s suspicions

Soon Brianna began to grow suspicious. At 2.30pm, she messaged another friend saying: “Scarlett is so weird girl. I think she’s pretending to have a deeler (sic).”

At 2.31pm, Jenkinson replied to herself as the fake dealer, saying: “Sorry mate almost there. 5 mins, 10 mins tops.”

What exactly unfolded over the next few minutes is known only to Ratcliffe and Jenkinson but based on the number of wounds on her body, Brianna was subjected to a sustained and violent assault with a hunting knife.

She was stabbed more than 28 times – mainly on her head, neck, front and back of her chest.

At 3.06pm, Brianna’s phone sent a message to Jenkinson, which said: “Girl where are you?”.

Several seconds later, the Snapchat account records that Jenkinson deleted a chat.

But it was not Brianna who sent that message – it was Jenkinson, the prosecution later said, trying to establish an alibi for herself.

She would later tell the police Brianna had disappeared with a “lad from Manchester”.

Undated handout photo issued by Cheshire Police of the murder weapon. A boy and a girl, both 16, have been found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of the murder of teenager Brianna Ghey
Image:
The murder weapon. Pic: PA/Cheshire Police

Fleeing the scene

Minutes later, a dogwalker came down the path, near the bench where the group was. She saw Ratcliffe bend down and believed he was tending to a dog.

Suddenly, both he and Jenkinson left the path together and walked into the adjacent field, breaking into a lolloping run as they fled the scene.

Brianna was declared dead at the scene
Image:
Brianna was declared dead at the scene

At 3.13pm, the woman called 999 and asked for police and the ambulance, saying someone had been attacked and she had seen people running away.

Brianna was declared dead at the scene.

CCTV footage would later catch them leaving, with Ratcliffe wiping what appeared to be blood from his hands. The pair retraced their path out of the woods, dumping Brianna’s phone in a drain near Jenkinson’s home.

Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe
Image:
Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe

Ratcliffe then turned and returned to the library where they had met Brianna, taking the bus back to his own house.

As news of the murder broke, the pair acted normally, believing they wouldn’t get caught and keeping each other updated on the unfolding investigation. They would later blame each other in court for what happened in the park.

Read more:
How teens plotted to kill Brianna
‘Murder plan’ found in Scarlett’s room
How the police caught Brianna’s killers

Brianna Ghey
Pic:Cheshire Police
Image:
Brianna Ghey. Pic: Cheshire Police

A killer’s tribute and fake concern

Jenkinson sent messages to Brianna, knowing all along she had left her for dead.

One message said: “Girl, is everything okay? And some teenage girl got killed in linear park its on news everywhere. And why did you ditch us for some random man from Manchester. Like wtf. That is so f***** up.”

Brianna was named the following day, and Jenkinson posted a tribute to her online, saying: “Brianna was one of the best people I have ever met and such an amazing friend its so f****** sickening what got done to her.”

Girl X posted a tribute to Brianna after allegedly murdering her
Image:
Scarlett posted a tribute to Brianna

Meanwhile, Ratcliffe was online on the Crown Prosecution Service website looking at Data Protection Act offences and penalties for supplying or withholding information. He looked up information about measures to support people giving evidence and bail.

The police would later call it an “absolutely heinous” attack, committed in the most brutal and cold-blooded fashion on an anxious and vulnerable child.

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Moment Brianna Ghey’s killers arrested

The pair will only be released from prison when it has been decided they are no longer a danger to the public – with a minimum term of 22 years for Jenkinson, and 20 years for Ratcliffe – the judge who sentenced them said on Friday.


The Data and Forensics team is a multi-skilled unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We gather, analyse and visualise data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we aim to better explain the world while also showing how our journalism is done.

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