Ava White's family 'ripped apart' by her murder as boy given life sentence, mother says

11 July 2022, 14:28 | Updated: 11 July 2022, 16:31

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asfsa. Picture: Supplied

By Asher McShane

Ava White's mother has said her family has been ripped apart by the teenager's death after a 15-year-old boy was sentenced to a minimum of 13 years for stabbing her to death in Liverpool last year.

The boy, 15, was given a life sentence on Monday for the fatal stabbing, which took place in Liverpool city centre on November 25 last year while Ava was watching the city's Christmas lights being switched on.

Her mother, Leanne, said: "The effect on my family is that I can’t see my nieces and nephews anymore.

"We can’t celebrate anything as a family, it’s just too painful and hurtful without Ava.

"It’s had a deep impact on her friends. Her friends saw things that night that no child should ever witness.

"And the adults that came to Ava’s aid on that night, it’s had a deep impact on them as well."

She added: "“Ava’s memories will always be a laugh in my family, they’re everywhere.

"She’s everywhere in my house, she’s everywhere with me and there’s not one conversation that I have that Ava’s not involved in it."

Leanne also called for more education around knife carrying and warned: “If you put a knife in your pocket, you are intending to use it and you’re not only destroying your own life but the life of your family as well."

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Mother of Ava White remembers her in emotional statement

Leanne also addressed Liverpool Crown Court today ahead of the sentencing. She said: "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."

The defendant, appearing via videolink, covered his face with his hand as Ms White and her older daughter Mia, 18, tearfully addressed the court, where more than 20 of Ava's family and friends were in the public gallery.

Mia said: "I am a shadow of my former big, loving sister to Ava."

She said she was anxious to walk past groups of youths in the street in case they were carrying knives and now hoped to change other young people's minds about using knives.

The defendant, who was 14 at the time of Ava's death, stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck following a row over a Snapchat video.

He claimed he accidentally stabbed her in self defence but a jury convicted him of murder following a two-week trial in May.

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

The court heard the boy, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attended a special school, had previously been subject to a community resolution notice after hitting a PCSO last July.

At the time of Ava's death the boy was charged with other offences which have not yet been resolved, the court was told, and had come to the attention of the authorities because of concerns he was being exploited by older, more criminally sophisticated people.

Nick Johnson QC, defending, said the defendant was carrying the knife because he had previously been a victim of crime.

Referring to a pre-sentence report on the defendant, Mr Johnson said: "One of the things that shines out is the suggestion that as part of his background he had been desensitised to violence, and that is not as a perpetrator of violence."

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.

Friends of Ava said the boy "grinned" after stabbing her in School Lane, just after 8.30pm.

The court heard that after Ava was struck in 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.

Applications for reporting restrictions to be lifted on the defendant's identity were refused by the judge.

The coffin of Ava White is carried into Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral for her funeral
The coffin of Ava White is carried into Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral for her funeral. Picture: Alamy
Ava, 12, was fatally stabbed in Liverpool city centre on November 25
Ava, 12, was fatally stabbed in Liverpool city centre on November 25. Picture: Alamy

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