Brianna Ghey murder trial

February 6, 2024

Richard Littler KC and Steven Swift from Exchange Chambers have defended 16-year-old Eddie Ratcliffe in the Brianna Ghey murder trial.

16-year-old Brianna, who was transgender, was stabbed 28 times in a “ferocious” attack in a park in Cheshire.

Eddie Ratcliffe and Scarlett Jenkinson, both 16, were convicted of murder in December, with anonymity orders protecting their identities lifted on Friday. Judge Mrs Justice Yip said there was “a strong public interest in the full and unrestricted reporting of what is plainly an exceptional case”.

Ratcliffe was jailed for at least 20 years and Jenkinson for a minimum of 22 years. They will be transferred to adult prisons when they turn 18.

Mrs Justice Yip said the terms are “lengthy for offenders of your age, albeit significantly less than an equivalent sentence for an adult”.

But she added: “How long you will actually serve will not be decided today.

“You will only be released if in the future it is decided that you no longer present a danger – that decision will be for the parole board.

“If you remain a danger, you will serve very much longer than the minimum term and may never be released.”

The sentences were handed down with the “hope” – “if not the expectation” – that the killers could be rehabilitated in the future, due to their young age, the judge added.

She said Jenkinson’s sentence was longer because it is clear a “huge amount of work” would need to be done before she could be released.

The judge said that for Ratcliffe, there are “areas in which your functioning is like that of a much younger child”.

She accepted his autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis had some impact, but its impact on his culpability was “limited”.

Richard Littler KC and Steven Swift were instructed by Colin Rawson, Partner at Stephensons Solicitors.