TWO youths convicted of murdering Brianna Ghey will be sentenced later today, Friday.

Two 16-year-olds, aged 15 at the time of the killing, were convicted of the Birchwood schoolgirl’s murder on December 20.

The pair were convicted by unanimous verdict at Manchester Crown Court following a four-week trial, and four hours and 40 minutes of jury deliberations.

Throughout coverage of the trial, they were referred to in coverage only as girl X, from Warrington, and boy Y, from Leigh.

They were both – and still are – protected by reporting restrictions preventing them from being named, from the time they were arrested and charged.

Trial judge Justice Amanda Yip will lift these restrictions later today allowing them to be named – but ONLY at a certain point in proceedings, and restrictions remain until then.

She ruled: "There is a strong public interest in the full and unrestricted reporting of what is plainly an exceptional case."

As was the case during the trial, we will be at Manchester Crown Court bringing you live coverage from the sentencing hearing.

‘Frenzied’ killing

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

The killers, both said their backs were turned when the other defendant began stabbing Brianna in a “frenzied” fashion.

Warrington Guardian: Police at the scene in Culcheth Linear ParkPolice at the scene in Culcheth Linear Park (Image: Warrington Guardian)

The trial heard both defendants had a fascination for violence, torture and murder and had planned the killing for weeks.

Jurors heard girl X was “obsessed” with Brianna, enjoyed watching internet torture and killing material from the “dark web” and had an interest in serial killers.

The jury was also shown a "murder plan" on how to kill Brianna, along with phone messages girl X and boy Y exchanged, including a "kill list" of other children they planned to harm.

On the opening day, prosecutor Deanna Heer said: “The prosecution case is that, whoever delivered the fatal blows, both defendants are equally guilty.

“Acting together, they planned and executed their plan to kill her.”

The jury heard how both defendants accepted that they were present in Linear Park with Brianna at the time she was killed, and boy Y accepted that he took his hunting knife with him.

However, both denied inflicting any injury upon her, and participating in her killing in any way, choosing instead to blame each other.

The prosecution did not have to prove who it was that wielded the knife – only that they both intentionally participated in the killing in some way, assisting or encouraging the other to commit the offence, intending that Brianna be killed or at the very least very seriously injured.

Ms Heer said: “The evidence clearly demonstrates that the defendants acted together to bring about Brianna’s death, and that they intended to kill her.

“The messages they exchanged show how they encouraged one another and egged each other on, how they thought about and discussed how to kill and how they planned to get Brianna to Linear Park, where they thought they would be undisturbed.

“How they each encouraged the other to bring a knife and how they planned to kill Brianna by stabbing her in the neck and the back, just as she was in fact stabbed in the neck and the back.

Warrington Guardian: Police at the scene in Culcheth Linear ParkPolice at the scene in Culcheth Linear Park (Image: Newsquest)

“In the aftermath of Brianna’s killing, they left the scene together and remained in contact with each other, keeping each other informed of the progress of the investigation and planning what they should say to the police.”

Girl X told the trial said she enjoyed “dark fantasies” but had no intention to ever turn them into reality, while boy Y said he went along with them and did not take them seriously.

What can the killers expect?

After verdicts were delivered by the jury, Justice Yip told the two defendants: “I will have to impose a life sentence.

“What I have to decide is the minimum amount of time you will be required to serve before you might be considered for release.”

The sentence was adjourned until today to allow for pre-sentence reports to be prepared for the pair.

Justice Yip said: “Frankly, I do not expect them to make a huge difference to the outcome in sentencing.

“But given their ages and the unusual circumstances of the case, I think it is right I have all the information available.”

It was said by Ms Heer that Brianna’s mother, Esther Ghey, would like to read her impact statement during the sentencing hearing.

Other members of her family are also due to prepare impact statements, including Brianna’s dad Peter, stepdad Wes and sister Alisha.

Barristers on behalf of the prosecution and defence will also speak before Justice Yip reveals the sentence she will hand down.

Justice Yip’s sentencing remarks could also be broadcast on TV.