Murder accused tells court he froze after seeing co-defendent stab Brianna Ghey | UK news #Murder #accused #tells #court #froze #codefendent #stab #Brianna #Ghey #news

A 16-year-old boy accused of killing Brianna Ghey has described freezing as he claimed to have seen his female co-defendant stab the teenager with his knife in a Warrington park.

The boy, known as Y to protect his identity, gave evidence at his trial on Wednesday by typing his answers because he has been diagnosed with selective mutism disorder and now talks only to his mother, a jury at Manchester crown court was told.

Jurors previously watched interviews Y gave to the police after his arrest, in which he verbally blamed his friend, a 16-year-old girl known as X, for the “frenzied” stabbing in Culcheth Linear Park on 11 February.

But the judge, Mrs Justice Yip, told the jury that since he was charged with murder he “gradually stopped speaking to anyone” apart from his mother and has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, which affects the way he communicates, including volume and tone.

It also affects his ability to make eye contact and how he “physically expresses himself”, Yip told jurors.

She said he has a good understanding of language, and that his selective mutism was “not a matter of choice”, despite its title, and was “beyond his personal control”.

Instead of going into the witness box – as Girl X did earlier in the week, when she blamed Y for the stabbing and insisted she thought the plot to kill Brianna was just “fantasy” – Boy Y gave evidence over video link from a neighbouring room, and typed his answers for an intermediary to read out.

He described giving a knife to X before they met Brianna on the day of the killing. The boy said he didn’t think X had any intention of using the knife, writing: “I didn’t think she would try to seriously harm anyone.”

Y claimed he was urinating up against a tree in the park when he heard a “puncturing sound” and turned around to see X stabbing Brianna “at least three times”.

His barrister, Richard Littler KC, asked: “When you saw that happening what did you do?” The boy answered: “I stood still.”

Brianna was stabbed 28 times using a hunting knife Y bought on a ski trip to Bulgaria, the jury was previously told. After the killing, police found the knife in Y’s bedroom, with traces of Brianna’s blood and Y’s DNA, the court heard. X’s DNA was not detected on the knife, a forensic expert previously told the jury.

Questioned by Littler, the boy described how he went over to Brianna and touched her body, getting blood on his hands, before X ran away and he followed her.

Asked what they talked about after the stabbing, Boy Y typed: “Girl X told me to use my saliva to wipe the blood off my hands, as she was doing for her face. I had also asked her why she stabbed BG, she responded ‘she tried to get me to break up with [her boyfriend] and that is unforgivable’.”

Brianna’s mobile phone was found in a drain near X’s house, and Y was asked who threw it away. Y said: “Girl X would have, whilst pretending to tie her shoe by the side of a drain.”

Asked how he felt when he got home, Y said: “I wasn’t happy. I wouldn’t say sad either, from what I perceive sad as. I think that I was dazed by the event.”

He didn’t tell his parents, he said. “I don’t tell them about easier topics, so it was even more improbable that I was able to tell them what I had seen … I assume it is linked to my autism and not being able to express myself clearly.”

The jury has seen hundreds of text messages exchanged between the defendants. Boy Y insisted: “Girl X had a plan to stab BG but I did not.”

He said he didn’t take her seriously “because she always talks about murder and nothing happens”.

Boy Y began his evidence answering questions about his schooling, saying that he passed eight GCSEs after his arrest, and was now teaching himself A-level subjects including biology, chemistry, pure maths and English literature. He had hoped to study microbiology at university, the jury heard.

The trial continues.

#Murder #accused #tells #court #froze #codefendent #stab #Brianna #Ghey #news

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