Members of the community rocked by the senseless murder gathered at the Golden Square Shopping Centre in Warrington to pay their respects and support Brianna’s family.
Flowers, candles and a painting of Brianna were laid outside the shopping centre, with many mourners wearing her favourite colour pink in tribute to the teen.
Speaking to the congregation, Brianna’s tearful mother spoke of how her daughter had ‘taught me so much and gave me so much happiness and love’.
She added: ‘I would like to thank you all for coming here today and paying respect to Brianna. I hope wherever she is now she can feel the love and respect we have for her today.’
Serial killer obsessives Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both 16, were jailed earlier this month for murdering the 15-year-old.
Brianna Ghey ‘s brave mother Esther was among tearful mourners today who joined a vigil to mark one year since the teenager was stabbed to death
Brianna, 15, was killed Culcheth Linear Park near Warrington, where she was stabbed 28 times in her head
A mourner lays a bunch of pink flowers underneath a canvas painting of Brianna
Scarlett Jenkinson (left) and Eddie Ratcliffe, who were convicted last year in the killing of Brianna Ghey, and sentenced and named on February 02
They lured Brianna into Culcheth Linear Park near Warrington, where she was stabbed 28 times in her head, neck and back with a hunting knife brought by Ratcliffe.
Detectives fear the ‘warped’ duo with a ‘taste for killing’ may have moved onto another victim had they not been arrested barely 24 hours after they knifed Brianna to death.
The body of ‘timid’ Brianna was found lying face-down in the mud with 28 stab wounds after the ‘frenzied’ attack at a popular beauty spot in a Cheshire village on February 11 – a year ago today.
Her twisted killers, described as a ‘danger to society’ by their victim’s mother, had planned the attack in great detail, with a handwritten note in Jenkinson’s room reading: ‘Saturday 11th February 2023. Victim: Brianna Ghey’.
They then desperately sought to cover their tracks, with Jenkinson posting a Snapchat tribute that called Brianna ‘such an amazing friend’ and ‘one of the best people I’ve ever met’.
During the two teenagers trial, who were 15 at the time of the murder, Brianna’s mother Esther told the court her daughter had ‘plans for her future’ that she will never be able to fulfill.
She said: ‘The fact that Brianna was taken from me in such a heinous way causes a pain that I struggle to describe. No parent should ever have to bury their child. She should have been around for the rest of my life.
Brianna’s mother Esther was seen arriving at the vigil today one year on from when her daughter was killed
Members of the community paying tribute to Brianna arrived with candles and pink flowers
People gathered in the Golden Square Shopping Centre in Warrington this afternoon
‘Brianna had plans for her future which we will never have the chance to support her with. She wanted to go to college and study beauty therapy; she was looking forward to being old enough to have a little job like her big sister.
‘We had also discussed her learning to drive, and she had even picked out which pink car she would like for her 18th birthday.’
She described Jenkinson and Ratcliffe as a ‘danger to society’, adding: ‘The thought of Scarlett and Eddie being released from prison absolutely horrifies me.
‘I don’t believe that someone who is so disturbed and obsessed with murder and torture would ever be able to be rehabilitated.’
Brianna’s father Peter Spooner added: ‘Being a father of a transgender child was a difficult thing to deal with. Without people accusing me of dead naming my child, most of my memories are with my son Brett.
‘Our memories are engraved on my heart. He was funny, cheeky and would pull faces to make me laugh. He was my baby, my only Son and his decision to transition was such a brave and confident thing to do.
‘Even though I grieved the son I lost, I was proud to gain another beautiful daughter.
‘Her appearance changed as she blossomed into a lovely young girl, her eyes were the same, she had my eyes when I looked at her. We were forming a new relationship and these two murderers have stolen that from us both.’
Brianna ‘was really witty’, Esther says. ‘She had such a sharp tongue. I always got the brunt of it, as her mother. She always had a comeback. She always had to have the last word’
Brianna’s tearful mother Esther (pictured) spoke of how her daughter had ‘taught me so much and gave me so much happiness and love’.
A note left for angel Brianna today at her vigil
Jenkinson and Ratcliffe showed no emotion as they were sentenced to 22 years and 20 years, respectively, after a judge ruled that Brianna had been killed because she was trans.
Mrs Justice Yip said that because each killer was aware of the other’s motivations, she considered them both to be partly driven by transphobia.
Ever since the evil pair were jailed, Brianna’s mother has been open speaking about her daughter’s death and campaigning to curb mobile phone use amongst children.
The anniversary vigil held this afternoon had been organised by Peace in Mind – a campaign to improve mindfulness in schools – being driven by Brianna’s mother Esther.
She told the Mail this week that the aim of the vigil was ‘to see what we are doing and to know how much she is loved’.
Esther, 37, attended the vigil with her partner Wes Powell, 30, and Brianna’s older sister Alisha, 19.
The family will spend time quietly reflecting on their loss but there will be no graveside visit, as Brianna’s ashes are kept in a pink casket in her bedroom, where Esther regularly goes to talk with her younger daughter.
‘Brianna doesn’t have a grave,’ Esther said through tears, before pausing to collect herself. ‘Sorry, I don’t think I’ve told anyone this before… Because Brianna just loved being in her bedroom, I’ve got her ashes in a pink casket in her room, so she’s always with us.
Esther is convinced that, had her daughter’s killers not been able to send disturbing messages to each other on such platforms or view the dark web, Brianna would be alive today
Esther pictured with Brianna whose ashes are kept in a pink casket in her bedroom
‘I spoke to one of Brianna’s very close friends, who said, “Brianna wouldn’t want to be in the dirt.” I know she wouldn’t want to be on her own. She wouldn’t want to be buried. She would want to be at home with her family.
‘So I made her room exactly how she would want it. She’s got freshly painted pink walls and a pink fluffy rug. She always wanted a pink fluffy rug and I wouldn’t let her have one because she always spilt drinks on the floor.’