THE teenagers who murdered Brianna Ghey will be named today. Friday.

It remains rare for under 18s to be named in court cases.

But Justice Amanda Yipp confirmed at the end of trial in December that she would allow them to be named during their sentencing hearing.


The two 16-year-olds, aged 15 at the time of the killing, were convicted of Brianna’s murder 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.

What did the judge say

Justice Amanda Yip confirmed, in a written ruling read out in court, that reporting restrictions preventing the two defendants from being named will be lifted during their sentencing hearing, following applications by members of the press and media.

The ruling highlights that professionals working with X and Y urge against lifting the reporting restrictions, citing concerns over mental health, rehabilitation, challenges in custody due to neurological condition diagnoses and risk to both the defendants and their families.

One expert also expressed concern for mental health in the event that they become “notorious and the focus of heightened attention”.

The court heard Brianna’s family were “supportive of restrictions being lifted”, with defence counsel for both defendants making submissions in opposition to their clients being named.

Reporting restrictions may be lifted if it is “in the public interest”, and with a “strong presumption in favour of open justice”, the court heard the “onus is on the defence to justify reporting restrictions”.

Justice Yip considered that both defendants could be named in any event when restrictions expire when they turn 18 in 2025.

The ruling also highlights distress to families.

Warrington Guardian: Brianna was found dead in Culcheth Linear Park

It goes on to say: “The shock generated by Brianna’s murder and the circumstances of it has spread well beyond the local community, across the nation and indeed internationally.

“The public will naturally wish to know the identities of the young people responsible as they seek to understand how children could do something so dreadful.

“Continuing restrictions inhibits full and informed debate and restricts the full reporting of the case.”

Justice Yip continued: “In the particular circumstances of this case, it seems to me that it is inevitable that the defendants’ identities will become widely known and reported at some stage.

“The question for me is whether I should lift the reporting restrictions now or allow them to continue until they lapse by operation of law during 2025.

“Having considered all the circumstances, I am unable to conclude that there is a good reason to maintain reporting restrictions following the defendants’ conviction and sentence.

“I consider that, there is a strong public interest in full and unrestricted reporting of what is plainly an exceptional case, at the time the proceedings are being concluded.

“Continuing the reporting restrictions until the defendants turn 18 would, in my view, represent a substantial and unreasonable restriction on the freedom of the press.

“I do, however, recognise that there may be a need for some work to be done with the defendants and their families to prepare them for the consequences of the reporting that is likely to follow the lifting of restrictions.

“I consider that the welfare of the defendants is likely to be detrimentally affected if appropriate support is not put in place for them and for their families around the time that they are identified.  “Balanced against that, while the interest in reporting the defendants’ identities is strong now immediately following conviction, it will remain so at the date of sentence.  “The stay will allow time for the professionals responsible for the defendants to prepare them for the consequences of identification and to address the concerns identified in the material before me.”

Have other young killers been named

Children appearing in youth or crown courts in England and Wales, whether as a victim, witness or defendant, generally cannot be identified if they are under the age of 18.

However, anonymity orders can be lifted by judges.

Here are some previous examples:

The killers of James Bulger

Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were 10 when they abducted, tortured and murdered two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool in February 1993.

After they were convicted at a high-profile trial, judge Mr Justice Morland allowed the boys to be named.

The judge said: “I considered that the public interest over-rode the interests of the defendants.”

In 2001, shortly after they turned 18, the High Court made an injunction preventing the media from publishing their new identities, effectively granting them lifelong anonymity.

Leighton Amies

Amies, aged 15 when he was named, had stabbed 14-year-old Tomasz Oleszak to death in a Gateshead nature park in October 2022 and was convicted of murder on April 17 following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Mr Justice Spencer, lifting the reporting ban, said: “There is a public interest in trying to deflect young people from the carrying of knives, where when that happens, this kind of utterly tragic outcome can occur.”

The judge added: “In my judgment, the public interest in reporting fully of these proceedings, including the identity of the defendant, in fact outweighs the interests of the defendant in having the anonymity of his identity maintained.”

Khayri Mclean’s killers

Jakele Pusey, 15, and his cousin Jovani Harriott, 17, were jailed for life at Leeds Crown Court earlier this year and given minimum terms of 16 and 18 years respectively for the murder of Khayri.

Pusey and Harriott had lain in wait for Khayri, with masks and large knives, near his Huddersfield school in September 2022 and attacked him in front of other school children.

Mrs Justice Farbey, lifting the order, referenced “acute public concern at a national level” about knife crime and the “particular concern in Huddersfield”, where a number of teenagers have died in recent years.

Teacher murderer

Will Cornick was 15 when he stabbed to death Ann Maguire, 61, as she taught a class at Corpus Christi Catholic College, in Leeds, in April 2014.

Mr Justice Coulson, who ruled Cornick could be named as he was jailed for at least 20 years, said lifting his anonymity would have a “a clear deterrent effect” and will also aid debates about the wider issues involved.

He added: “Ill-informed commentators may scoff, but those of us involved in the criminal justice system know that deterrence will almost always be a factor in the naming of those involved in offences such as this.”

Jack Hindley and Samuel Jones

In September 2022, Mr Justice Sweeney lifted reporting restrictions at Winchester Crown Court to allow the naming of Hindley and Jones, then 17, who were found guilty of the murder of 35-year-old musician Edward Reeve.

The keyboard player suffered multiple stab wounds in the attack at his home in Christchurch, Dorset, on new year’s eve 2021.

Mr Justice Sweeney said that open reporting could have a “deterrent effect” on youth knife crime and attacks in the home, which he said were “two areas of public concern”.

He added: “There is greater weight in open justice and unrestricted reporting than in the interests of these defendants.”

Logan Mwangi murderer

Last year Mrs Justice Jefford permitted the identification of then 14-year-old Craig Mulligan after he murdered his five-year-old step-brother Logan.

Mulligan was convicted alongside his step-father, John Cole and Logan’s mother Angharad Williamson of killing the young boy in Bridgend in July 2021.

The judge ruled it was in the public interest for Mulligan to be named because “there is a significant gap in any understanding of this case” if he remained anonymous.

Marcel Grzeszcz

Mr Justice Jeremy Baker allowed the naming of 15-year-old Grzeszcz after jailing him in 2021 for the murder of 12-year-old Roberts Buncis.

The killer lured his victim to an area of woodland in Fishtoft, near Boston, Lincolnshire, on December 12 2020 before attempting to decapitate him.

In his ruling at Lincoln Crown Court, the judge said identifying Grzeszcz would assist the “investigation” of knife crime and its “causes and prevention”.

Essex stabbing

Joshuah Sparks, who stabbed father-of-four James Gibbons to death on the day of his twin daughters’ second birthday party, was named in court aged 16 in December 2021.

The 34-year-old plumber had challenged a group of youths who were harassing a homeless man, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Mr Justice Charles Bourne lifted an anonymity order.