AS jurors heard the grim details of Brianna Ghey’s “frenzied” stabbing, the Leigh teenager accused of her murder sat in the dock doing Sudoku puzzles on his knee.

Charged with the brutal murder of trans teenager Brianna Ghey, 16-year-old Eddie Ratcliffe displayed no emotion as details about the murder were presented to the court, such as the distressing 999 call from the dog walker who first came across Brianna's body.

Ratcliffe, who has autism, selective mutism and social anxiety, had to be handled carefully by the judge and was allowed to give evidence by typing his answers onto a computer which were read out by an intermediary.

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Leigh Journal: Brianna was murdered at Culcheth Linear Park in February 2023Brianna was murdered at Culcheth Linear Park in February 2023 (Image: Supplied)
Each day he appeared in court, wearing a shirt and tie, carrying his puzzles magazines, Ratcliffe was accompanied by an appropriate adult and two social workers.

He was also given tangle or fidget toys to aid calmness, but some were not convinced by his mutism and suspected it may be a tactic to illicit sympathy and avoid responsibility, or the result of genuine trauma from his involvement in the murder.

16-year-old Brianna died after being stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in her head, neck, chest and back in Culcheth Linear Park, Warrington, on the afternoon of February 11 last year.

The killers tried to blame each other for the murder, but the jury heard how they both had a fascination for violence, torture and murder and had planned the killing for weeks.

The jury was also shown a "murder plan" on how to kill Brianna, along with phone messages that included a "kill list" of other children they planned to harm.

Leigh Journal: The convicted killers, Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie RatcliffeThe convicted killers, Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe (Image: Cheshire Police)
After being convicted of murder, Scarlett Jenkinson gave a different account from her evidence at the time of the killing to admit that she had in fact administered stab wounds herself.

Jenkinson accepted that she and Ratcliffe had deliberately lured Brianna to the park and he brought his knife on her request, but she inflicted the first stab wound then passed the knife to Ratcliffe who forced her to the floor and stabbed her.

She said Ratcliffe threw Brianna to the floor and stabbed her three or four times, then panicked. Jenkinson says she then snatched the knife from Ratcliffe’s hand and stabbed Brianna repeatedly, which was ‘enough times to kill her’ and so that she was ‘excited and satisfied’.

She said Ratcliffe didn’t like Brianna as she was trans but Jenkinson said she enjoyed thinking about the plan to kill Brianna.

Leigh Journal: The murder weapon used to kill BriannaThe murder weapon used to kill Brianna (Image: Cheshire Police)
Ratcliffe and Jenkinson knew each other from attending Culceth High School in Warrington, with the Leigh teenager described a top student, conscientious with his studies, and had no previous trouble with the police.

He passed eight GCSEs in the summer while in custody and planned to study micro-biology at university.

The court heard how Jenkinson had tried to persuade him to kill Brianna a week before the murder, which Ratcliffe agreed to the murder but not on a school night as he had to revise.

In a notebook found by police in Jenkinson’s bedroom, she had written a page describing Ratcliffe, which included the words ‘trustworthy’ and ‘sociopath’.

"Someone that doesn’t have many, or no emotions,” she wrote. “Good sense of humour. Very, very smart. Genius level. Not sociable. Socially awkward. Gets anxious.”

Leigh Journal: Police at the scene of the murder in WarringtonPolice at the scene of the murder in Warrington (Image: Warrington Guardian)
Ratcliffe was portrayed by his lawyers as being manipulated by his friend and co-defendant.

But while Jenkinson was the driving force behind the murder plans, Ratcliffe was a willing participant.

The pair had lived in a “cocooned” world of dark fantasies, Ratcliffe indulging Jenkinson’s blood lust and fascination for torture and death.

And it was Ratcliffe who brought the hunting knife used to kill.

He met Brianna for the first time on the day of the murder and they hardly exchanged a word, with evidence suggesting it was Ratcliffe who wielded the knife, stabbing Brianna in a frenzy, front and back, head and neck, 28 times, as she tried in vain to fend off the blows.

Ratcliffe’s father attended his trial sporadically, his mother every day, often making notes. Their son made no eye contact with either of them throughout.

After the guilty verdict his mother was inconsolable, sobbing with her head in her hands, as her son was taken down to the cells.

Ratcliffe is now being held at Barton Moss, the secure youth accommodation unit in Salford, where his apparent “arrogance” has not endeared him to everyone, sources said.

As the pair were under the age of 18 at the time, the sentencing will be effectively a life sentence although it will be significantly lower than an adult.