Ava White murder: Boy, 15, given life sentence for stabbing 12-year-old schoolgirl in Snapchat row

·4 min read
(PA)
Schoolgirl Ava White, 12, was murdered last year in Liverpool city centre. (PA)

A 15-year-old boy has been given a life sentence with a minimum of 13 years for murdering 12-year-old schoolgirl Ava White.

The boy, who was 14 when he stabbed Ava after a Christmas lights switch-on in Liverpool city centre on 25 November last year following a row over a Snapchat video, cannot be named for legal reasons.

He was sentenced on Monday at Liverpool Crown Court after being convicted of Ava's murder in May, when a jury took two hours and eight minutes to convict the boy.

Ava's mother, Leanne, broke down in court on Monday as she told of her grief.

Reading a statement during at the sentencing, she said: “The moment Ava died is now yesterday, tomorrow and forever. It is the past, the present and the future.

“It is not just one horrific moment in time that happened last whenever. It is not just the moment, the hour or second.

Watch: Boy, 14, guilty of murdering schoolgirl Ava White

“Our lives became permanently divided into before and after.

“You may say Ava died last year, or 10 years ago, or even 15 years ago or longer. No she didn’t.

“My beloved Ava dies all over again every morning I wake up. My Ava dies again every moment she is not with us for the rest of our lives.

“She will never fulfil her dream of becoming an air hostess and travelling the world.”

Ms White's older daughter, Mia, 18, said: “I am a shadow of my former big, loving sister to Ava.”

She said she becomes anxious walking past groups of youths in the street in case they are carrying knives.

She told the court she now hopes to change other young people’s minds about using knives.

The court heard Ava’s paternal grandfather Robert, 72, had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following her death.

A police cordon near the scene in Liverpool city centre where 12-year-old Ava White died following an assault. Picture date: Friday November 26, 2021.
A police cordon near the scene in Liverpool city centre where 12-year-old Ava White was murdered last November. (PA)

A statement from Ava’s father, Robert Martin, was read to the court.

He said: “Ava was the reason I got out of bed, my reason for living.

“When Ava was taken away it destroyed everything I stood for and worked towards.”

The boy had claimed he accidentally stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck in self-defence.

He told the court he wanted to “frighten her away” after an altercation.

He admitted possessing the knife, which the court heard had a 7.5cm blade, but denied her murder and manslaughter.

Undated handout photo issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the knife used to stab 12-year-old Ava White who died following an argument in Liverpool city centre on November 25. A teenage boy who stabbed Ava following a row over a Snapchat video has been found guilty of her murder. The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had claimed he accidentally stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck in self-defence. Issue date: Tuesday May 24, 2022.
The knife used to stab 12-year-old Ava White. (PA)
Undated handout file photo issued by Merseyside Police of 12-year-old Ava White who died after she was stabbed following an argument in Liverpool city centre on November 25. A teenage boy who stabbed 12-year-old Ava White following a row over a Snapchat video has been found guilty of her murder. The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had claimed he accidentally stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck in self-defence. Issue date: Tuesday May 24, 2022.
Ava White was stabbed after a Christmas lights switch-on in Liverpool last November. (PA)

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During the trial, which lasted just over two weeks, the court heard Ava and her friends became involved in an argument with the defendant and three of his friends after the boys recorded Snapchat videos of the group.

The defendant told the jury: “I promise, I didn’t mean to hit her.”

He said that earlier in the evening he heard one of Ava’s group threaten to stab his friend if he did not delete a video of Ava.

(PA)
Ava White was killed after an argument over a Snapchat video. (PA)
Balloons are released as people take part in a vigil in Liverpool city centre for 12-year-old Ava White, who was fatally stabbed on Thursday, November 25, following a Christmas lights switch on. Picture date: Saturday December 4, 2021.
Balloons are released as people take part in a vigil in Liverpool city centre for 12-year-old Ava White last December. (PA)

The court heard that after Ava was struck to the neck the defendant ran away, discarded his knife and took off his coat, which was later found in a wheelie bin.

CCTV showed him and his friends in a shop where the defendant took a selfie and the group bought butter, which he said was for crumpets.

He then went to a friend’s home and when his mother contacted him because police wanted to speak to him he told her he was playing a computer game.

After he was arrested, just after 10.30pm, he initially told police he had not been in the city centre but in later interviews blamed another boy for the stabbing.

Watch: Headteacher says Ava White will be remembered as a 'brightness'

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