Ava White, 12, was fatally stabbed in Liverpool city centre after a Christmas lights switch-on on 25 November 2021.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Liverpool Crown Court he accidentally stabbed her in self-defence. He had pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon but was convicted of murder after a trial.
Mrs Justice Amanda Yip told the boy that in light of the verdict, he would face a life sentence, but she was still to decide “what the shortest amount of time that you will have to serve in custody is”.
The court heard Ava and her friends became involved in an argument with the teenager and three of his friends after the boys recorded Snapchat videos of her group.
The boy told the jury he heard one of Ava’s group threaten to stab his friend if he did not delete a video of Ava. He claimed he had wanted to “frighten her away” and had not meant to stab her.
Ava’s friends said the boy “grinned” after attacking her in School Lane before fleeing.
The court heard he then discarded the knife and took off his coat, which was later found in a wheelie bin. Shortly after, CCTV showed him and his friends in a shop where the boy took a selfie and the group bought butter, which he said was for crumpets.
He then went to a friend’s home and when his mother contacted him to tell him police wanted to speak to him, he told her he was playing a computer game. The youth was arrested at about 22:30 BST, a few hours after the stabbing, and initially told his mother he was “not going the cells”. He told police he had not been in the city centre, but in later interviews, he went on to blame another boy for the stabbing.
The boy admitted possessing the knife, which the court heard had a 3ins (7.5cm) blade, but denied murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.
The jury delivered its verdict after deliberating for two hours eight minutes, with one jury member wiping away a tear as they were discharged by Mrs Justice Yip.
I know that the perpetrator is a child but he’s old enough to know right from wrong because he tried to lie his way out of charges. Obviously, as a “lifer” he won’t “learn his lesson” in prison, he’ll just learn “the tricks of the trade”, so the longer he’s kept in, the better.
Poor Ava …