Ava White: 14-year-old boy charged with murder of 12-year-old girl in Liverpool city centre
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A teenager has been charged with the murder of 12-year-old Ava White in Liverpool city centre, Merseyside Police have confirmed.
Ava, who had been in town with friends, suffered “catastrophic injuries” in an assault at 20:39 on Thursday night after attending the Christmas lights switch-on at Church Street.
A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article.
Police said he has been remanded in custody to appear at a court on Monday.
Three other boys – one aged 13, one aged 14 and one aged 15 - who were also arrested in connection with the incident, have been conditionally bailed as inquiries continue.
Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs said: “We’re continuing to support Ava’s family, and they have requested that their privacy continues to be respected at this difficult time.
“It’s also vitally important as we continue the investigation that nobody posts comments or names on social media which could potentially impact upon us getting justice for Ava’s family.
“Please trust us that we are doing all we can to investigate and update people on this tragic incident, and we do not want anything to jeopardise this.”
What happened to Ava White?
Merseyside Police said Ava became embroiled in “a verbal argument” with a group of boys shortly after the Christmas lights were turned on in Church Street on Thursday night.
The incident then escalated into an “assault on her with a knife” and the offenders fled up School Lane, across Hanover Street and into Fleet Street.
Officers were called to the scene at approximately 20.39 after receiving reports of the attack.
When officers arrived they discovered Ava collapsed on the ground in Church Alley and a member of the public, who witnessed the incident, was giving first aid.
Paramedics attended at the scene and Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where sadly she died a short time later despite the best efforts of medical staff.
Four males – one aged 13, two aged 14 years and one aged 15 years, all from Toxteth - were subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder.
Ava died on White Ribbon Day - a worldwide campaign to end violence against women and girls.
“Utterly tragic event”
On Friday, flowers were being laid on Church Street in tribute to Ava, as forensics officers and police searched the scene.
A balloon was left by 17-year-old Lacey, who did not want to give her surname, who said her younger sister had been close friends with Ava.
She said: “She was just a bubbly character, so loving and caring.
“She came out with her friends to enjoy herself and I think it’s just wrong that this has happened.”
Ava was a popular Year Eight student at Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton and had previously attended The Trinity Catholic Primary school.
Peter Duffy, Head Teacher of Notre Dame, said: “Ava was a much loved, valued and unique member of the Notre Dame family. She was an incredibly popular girl with a fantastic group of friends.
“Our deepest thoughts and prayers go out to Ava’s family and friends and all those affected by this utterly tragic event.
“My staff are working with students to provide all the support they need at this traumatic time.”
Call for witness information
The police are urging anyone who has captured the incident or aftermath to send any images/footage directly to the police via the following link: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/05MP21M43-PO1
You can pass information on with reference 21000820789 via ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook, 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.