A boy and a girl have been found guilty by a jury of the “disturbing” murder of teenager Brianna Ghey, who died in a “frenzied and ferocious” knife attack.

Brianna, 16, was stabbed with a hunting knife 28 times in her head, neck, chest and back as she tried to fight off her attacker after being lured to Linear Park, Culcheth, a village near Warrington, Cheshire, on the afternoon of February 11.

The pair, identified only as girl X and boy Y, both now aged 16 but 15 at the time, had denied murder and each blamed the other for the killing of the transgender teenager, described as “horrific” by detectives.

Intelligent, “high functioning” and coming from normal backgrounds, the trial heard the pair had a fascination for violence, torture and murder and had a “thirst for killing”.

Neither had been in trouble with police before.

They were discussing Brianna’s murder for weeks, detailed in a handwritten murder plan and phone messages found by detectives.

A jury of seven men and five women convicted the two following a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court after four hours and 40 minutes of deliberations.

Trial judge Mrs 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.

“I’m not going to do that this week. I’m going to ask for some reports in relation to each of you.”

The judge thanked jurors for their service on an “extremely difficult and, at times, distressing case”.

After the conviction, deputy chief crown prosecutor Ursula Doyle said: “This has been one of the most distressing cases I have ever dealt with. The planning, the violence and the age of the killers is beyond belief.”

Boy Y, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and who is non-verbal, and girl X, who has traits of autism and ADHD, were both in the dock as the verdicts were delivered.

Jurors were told it was “difficult to fathom” how the two child defendants could carry out such a disturbing crime.

At age 14, girl X had downloaded a TOR internet browser app, to enjoy watching videos of the torture and murder of real people, in “red rooms” on the “dark web”.

She grew an interest in serial killers, making notes on their methods, and admitted enjoying “dark fantasies” about killing and torture, the pair living in a secret world of warped interests in murder and cruelty, the court heard.

They drew up a “Kill list” of four other youths they intended to harm, until Brianna had the “misfortune” to be befriended by girl X, who became “obsessed” with her.

Brianna had thousands of followers on TikTok, but in reality was a withdrawn, shy and anxious teenager who struggled with depression and rarely left her home.

Girl X told her accomplice she wanted to stab Brianna “jus coz its fun lol… I want to see the pure horror on her face and hear her scream”.

She got her wish after luring Brianna to the park on a Saturday afternoon, believing she was going to “hang out” with friends.

Brianna Ghey murder court case
A crumpled, hand-written note of an alleged ‘murder plan’ to kill Brianna Ghey, which was found on the bedroom floor of girl X and was shown to the jury at Manchester Crown Court (Cheshire Police/PA)

Their dark fantasies were about to become reality, the court heard, girl X chillingly telling Brianna when she caught the bus to meet them to buy not a return but only a single ticket – and reminding boy Y about his knife.

A witness in the park was playing hide and seek with his children when he passed the teenagers.

He felt as if he had interrupted something and they were waiting for him to pass.

Girl X had talked about “trophies” taken during killing plans and took a last photo of Brianna on her phone in the park.

Then at around 3pm Brianna, who had been seen sat on a bench, was suddenly attacked, possibly initially from behind, with a hunting knife with a 13cm blade, brought to the park by boy Y.

Each defendant blamed the other and it is not known which one or if both wielded the knife.

Brianna was “stabbed and stabbed and stabbed” in a “frenzied and ferocious” attack.

She instinctively tried to cover up – tendons in her hands and arms slashed in a futile attempt to fend off her attacker.

Brianna suffered 28 stab wounds, 14 to her head and neck, 14 to her chest, back and sides.

The blade cut her throat, puncturing her heart and lungs and the blows were delivered with enough force to damage the bones of her ribs, vertebrae and sternum.

As she lay dying girl X sent a message to her victim’s phone, “Girl, where are you?”, to set up her cover story of Brianna leaving them to go off with another youth.

Seconds later girl X deleted a Snapchat conversation with Brianna, showing “cool and calculated” presence of mind.

Kathryn Vize and her husband Andrew were out walking their dogs and saw the two stood over something on the ground.

They ran away as Mrs Vize got closer and realised what was before her.

“It’s an absolute mess,” she told the 999 operator to summon help.

“Oh God! Oh God! Are they coming quickly? It’s a nightmare.”

Both teenagers went home and carried on as if nothing had happened, girl X later posting an online tribute with a photo of her victim, saying: “Brianna was one of the best people I have ever met and such an amazing friend it’s so f****** sickening what got done to her.”

Brianna Ghey murder court case
Brianna Ghey’s mother Esther Ghey (left) arriving at Manchester Crown Court for the murder trial (Peter Byrne PA)

An hour later both were under arrest.

They had been seen by witnesses with Brianna and caught on CCTV and doorbell footage and quickly traced.

Detectives found the murder weapon with Brianna’s blood on the blade in boy Y’s bedroom, along with heavily blood-stained clothing and trainers.

At girl X’s home they found a handwritten note detailing the murder plan and naming Brianna as the victim.

Messages on their phones detailed their fascination with murder, torture and death, plans to kill other children and an earlier attempt to poison Brianna with an overdose.

The gruesome murder of a transgender teenager in a public park prompted candlelit vigils worldwide protesting against perceived transphobia.

Detectives believe Brianna was killed because she was vulnerable and accessible, with her death not a hate crime but done for “enjoyment” and a “thirst for killing”.

Girl X claimed while she enjoyed fantasies of killing Brianna she never intended any of it to become reality.

Boy Y said he played along or treated it all as a joke and never wanted to harm anyone.

Jurors disagreed.