TWO teenagers have now been charged with the murder of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey.

The 15-year-old from Warrington and 15-year-old from Leigh appeared in Chester Magistrates' Court on Wednesday morning and will be in Liverpool Crown Court on Thursday.

For cases such as this, the media cannot name the defendants.

This is because of legal restrictions imposed on what the media can and cannot report.

When a person under the age of 18 appears as a defendant in court, there are different rules which reporters, who are trained in media law, must bear in mind, depending on the type of court in which the case is heard.

When a young person appears as a defendant in a youth court, they are automatically granted anonymity.

Section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 says that reports of cases heard in youth courts cannot include the name, address, school or any other information relating to the identity of the defendant.

It is illegal to publish information which breaches Section 49.

However, courts can decide, under certain circumstances, to lift the restrictions detailed under Section 49, allowing the media to identify the defendant.

Section 49 restrictions expire when the defendant turns 18.

When a person under the age of 18 appears as a defendant in the adult magistrates' court or in crown court they have no automatic right to anonymity.

However, the court can impose an order under Section 45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 preventing the media - and anyone else - from naming the defendant.

It is usually representatives of the media who ask the judge in the case to lift such orders.

Sometimes media organisations make joint applications, backed up by legal arguments about why the order should be lifted.

It is up to the judge in the case to grant the request, or not.

The rules do not just apply to journalists

If a journalist names individuals who have anonymity in the courts, they could be held in contempt.

Punishment could includes fines or even jail if found guilty.

Anyone naming defendants online or on social media are also subject to the same laws and could be arrest.

In the interest of a fair trial and not prejudicing proceedings, everyone is reminded of the rules.