May 24 (UPI) — A court found a 14-year-old boy guilty on Tuesday of murdering 12-year-old Ava White in November in Liverpool, Britain after she asked him to stop filming her and her friends.
The boy, who has not been publicly identified, held his head in his hands as the court convicted him, prompting applause from more than 20 members of Ava’s family, Sky News reported.
He fatally stabbed her in the neck with a knife on Nov. 25, the night the Christmas lights were turned on in Liverpool.
Ava and her friends, ages 11 to 15, had shared some alcohol and were “messing around” near the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool city center on the night of the attack. A group of boys saw them, and the 14-year-old boy began filming a clip that he later shared on Snapchat, the court was told.
After Ava approached the boy and demanded he stop filming, he thrust a knife into her neck.
“For such an appalling attack to take place on the one of the busiest streets in the Liverpool city region, during one of the busiest days of year, sends shivers down our spines,” Metropolitan Mayor of Liverpool Steve Rotheram said at the time, The Guardian reported. “Ava was just a child with her whole life in front of her. Her future has been stolen and the lives of her family and friends shattered. I am angry today for Ava and her family, for the parents across the region worrying about their children’s safety, and angry that such a heinous act should take place here.”
Prosecuting attorney Charlotte Newell QC said the boy’s “reaction at the time was to smirk, to laugh and to run away, leaving Ava to die whilst he sought to distance himself from his actions,” Sky News reported. Newell also noted that Ava was an “unarmed child.”
Sentencing was set for July 11.
CCTV footage was shown during the trial, including the moment of the stabbing.
The boy had told a “series of lies” about the day of the attack after he was arrested, from claiming he was playing video games at the time of the killing to saying another boy had stabbed her.
At trial, the boy denied the murder charge and claimed he was acting in self-defense.