TWO youths convicted of brutally murdering Brianna Ghey in a “frenzied” stabbing have been branded ‘arrogant and cowardly’.

Cheshire Police’s head of crime made the comments during a press conference on the pair being brought to justice by a jury following a four-week trial.

Birchwood schoolgirl Brianna died aged 16 after being stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in her head, neck, chest in what the prosecution described as a “frenzied” attack in Culcheth Linear Park on February 11.

She was “lured” to the park by two 15-year-olds, now aged 16, referred to during the trial only as girl X, from Warrington, and boy Y, from Leigh, due to their age.

Both defendants denied murdering Brianna, who was transgender, and blamed each other for her death, with a trial hearing the pair discussed their fascination for violence, torture and murder.

They had also planned the killing for weeks, with jurors hearing girl X was “obsessed” with Brianna, enjoyed watching internet torture and killing material from the “dark web” and had an interest in serial killers.

The jury was also shown a murder plan on how to kill Brianna, along with phone messages girl X and boy Y exchanged, including a kill list of other children they planned to harm.

Detective chief superintendent Mike Evans, Cheshire Police’s head of crime, was asked what the conviction by jury revealed about the killers.

“It was more than element of them thinking they would not get caught,” he said.

“They are bright kids. How many 15-year-olds can access the dark web? It is not easy. They are not thick.

“I think that they are both really intelligent kids, and you look at the backgrounds, they are quite high functioning.

“I think that has brought a level of arrogance or certainly confidence.

“Some of that has played out a little bit in court, I think around the answers they gave, and I don't ever think they imagined we would recover those text messages.

“I'm not sure they ever thought that we would knock on their doors.”

On taking the case to trial, he added: “Putting Brianna’s family through a trial, it is almost as cruel as what they did, to make the family relive it again when there is such a significant amount of evidence that points to their guilt.

“The fact that neither of them have been sort of big enough to take responsibility for what they have done is cowardice in my view.”

This view was echoed by Ursula Doyle, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the CPS.

She said: “It speaks of their youth, their naivety in which they potentially thought they would not be traced, or their phones would not be examined, or the physical evidence found in boy Y’s house would not be found and forensically analysed.

Police at the scene in Culcheth Linear Park in February

Police at the scene in Culcheth Linear Park in February

“In criminal investigations, you often need to interpret phone messages. but these didn't, these were explicit, and that is quite unusual.

“Certainly their planning, the messages, the way they try to cover up their offending, all shows at the very least a naivety, if not a an arrogance.”

She also commented on the crime itself, adding: “This was a most horrific offence.

“It was planned in detail, and the nature of the planning between two young people, and the kind of online material that they talked about, in terms of hurting other people, murder and torture, was absolutely shocking.

“The messages that passed between the two made for difficult reading, and then ultimately, the plan that was made was carried out.

“It led to an extremely violent attack by two young people on another young person – a young person who had her whole life ahead of her and who was brutally slain in a public park on a Saturday afternoon.”

DCS Evand was asked by members of the press whether the pair ultimately killed for ‘fun’, with girl X stating in a message to boy Y that she wanted to stab Brianna ‘at least once even if she’s dead because it’s fun lol’.

On this, he said: “I'm not sure fun is the word, but I think they killed her because they wanted to prove that they could, or a sort of thirst for killing.

“I don't think there was any motive behind it, so possibly enjoyment is the right word.

“Certainly in the police interviews, up until the point where there was a significant amount of evidence, neither of them seemed overly concerned.”

He also branded the pair ‘callous and cold’ for the planning and actions before, during and after the murder.

This came after he was asked about phone messages to Brianna sent by girl X trying to cover up what happened.

DCS Evans said: “I think the whole thing is callous and cold, with that level of arrogance in that they thought through the plan.

“Our case is that girl X sent that last message after Brianna has already been attacked in a cover up.

“They then tried to carry on that cover up, discussing that they were not going to get caught.

“When arrested, they gave accounts that fitted their plan, and it was only at the point where they are confronted with evidence that they didn't know we would ever have that their worlds have fallen apart.

“I think it probably does talk to the character again – arrogance, and that level off ‘we can get away with this’.”