THE Crown Prosecution Service say the killing of Brianna Ghey was ‘in part’ a hate crime due to her being transgender.

Today, Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe were both handed life sentences for the brutal murder of Birchwood teenager Brianna.

The case was described as ‘one of the most disturbing’ ones that the CPS has had to deal with.

During the trial back in December, the CPS put forward evidence that suggested the murder of the 16-year-old was a hate crime – including WhatsApp messages that used ‘dehumanising language’ to describe the victim.

And following today’s sentencing at Manchester Crown Court, senior crown prosecutor Nicola Wyn Williams of CPS Cheshire Mersey spoke of the ‘hateful and dehumanising language’ used to describe Brianna.

She said: “The Crown Prosecution Service presented all the evidence in this case for the jury to consider, including the hateful and dehumanising language used to describe Brianna.

“We applied to the Judge for an increase in the defendants’ sentences because we believed this killing was a hate crime, motivated in part by hostility towards Brianna because she was transgender. We are pleased that the court has agreed that this was a motive.”

Warrington Guardian:

Presiding over the case, Mrs Amanda Justice Yip also spoke of how messages sent by Ratcliffe were ‘transphobic’.

Addressing Ratcliffe, she said: “She [Scarlett] said Brianna was transgender and sent you pictures of her.

“Your messages about Brianna were transphobic. You consistently referred to her in a way that was dehumanising, calling her “it”. You also described her as a “femboy thing”.

“When discussing killing Brianna, you agreed with Scarlett that she would be the easiest victim and said “and I want to see if it will scream like a man or a girl.”

“After the failed attempt on January 28 and in answer to Scarlett expressing her desire to see Brianna suffering, you said “Really all I wanted is to see what size d*** it had”.

“Because Scarlett is an unreliable witness, I will not use her evidence that you “had a problem with” gay and transgender people against you.

“Nor will I dwell on the unpleasant messages about someone being gay and what you might do to them. But in your messages about Brianna, you undoubtedly displayed hostility towards her based on her transgender identity.

“Your explanation is that you were just copying language used by friends, including Scarlett, to fit in.

“Throughout the messaging, Scarlett almost always referred to Brianna as a girl and used the pronouns she and her, so you were not following Scarlett’s lead.

“It may be that you picked up some of this language and the hostile views at school.

“But after considering all the evidence I have about you, I am satisfied that you are quite capable of holding your own views. I have now seen a great deal of expert evidence about you.”

Ratcliffe, of Leigh, was handed 20 years in detention while Jenkinson, of Culcheth, was handed 22.