Ava White: teenager given life sentence for murder of Liverpool schoolgirl stabbed to death

The 15-year-old must serve a minimum of 13 years for the fatal stabbing in Liverpool city centre.

A teenage boy who knifed 12-year-old Ava White in the neck following a row over a Snapchat video has been sentenced to life for her murder.

The 15-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, must serve a minimum of 13 years for the fatal stabbing in Liverpool city centre on November 25 last year.

Addressing Liverpool Crown Court on Monday, Ava’s mother Leanne said: “My beloved Ava dies all over again every morning I wake up. My Ava dies again every moment she’s not with us for the rest of my life.”

The defendant, appearing via videolink, covered his face with his hand as a tearful Ms White addressed the court.

The boy, who was 14 at the time of the murder, had claimed he accidentally stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck in self-defence, but was found guilty after a two week murder trial in May.

Ava White, 12, was stabbed in Liverpool city centre.

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.

Ava’s mother opens up about murder

Ahead of Monday’s sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court, Ava’s mother, Leanne, spoke about how the tragic loss of her young daughter continues to have a devastating affect on the family.

“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,” she explained.

“It has had a deep impact on her friends. Her friends witnessed things no child should ever witness. Even the adults that came to Ava’s aid on that night. It has had a deep impact on them as well.”

Ms White said that the key to preventing other families from going through the same heartache is education.

“We need to be going into primary schools and, starting at a young age, educate the kids about what carrying a knife does.

“If you put a knife in your pocket, you are intending to use it. You are not only destroying your own life, but the life of your family as well.”

Ms White is setting up a foundation for Ava in conjunction with White Ribbon. The Notre Dame schoolgirl was killed on White Ribbon Day - a campaign dedicated to ending violence against women and girls.

What happened to Ava White?

Ava had been in the city with friends on November 25 following a Christmas lights switch-on when she was stabbed, suffering “catastrophic injuries” just before 8.40pm on Thursday.

When police arrived at the scene, they found Ava, who was with friends, collapsed on the ground and receiving first aid from a member of the public.

Paramedics attended and she was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where she died a short time later.

The trial of the teen convicted of murdering her heard Ava had said “don’t leave me” to her friends as she was lying on the ground after being stabbed.

It was also said the friends had been in the city centre when they noticed the defendant with three other boys filming Ava and asked them to delete the videos.

The group of boys had walked away but then the defendant shouted back to them “look at the state of youse” and Ava “flipped”.

Who killed Ava?

The boy, 14, who stabbed Ava can’t be named for legal reasons. During his murder trial he told the court he wanted to “frighten” Ava away after an altercation and that he “didn’t mean” to hit her.

The youth was arrested at about 10.30pm on November 25 after initially telling his mother he was “not going the cells”.

At the end of his first police interview, he told an officer: “Shut up you n***e.”

During interviews he denied being in the city centre on the night of the killing, claimed another boy was responsible, gave numerous “no comment” answers, told police “I’m not bothered” and said “I don’t f****** know”.

A police cordon near the scene in Liverpool city centre.

In his evidence, the teenager was asked why he had lied to police and he said he thought he would “get away with it”.

He added: “I was scared I was going to go to jail.”

The boy was accompanied by an intermediary throughout the trial, which he attended over video-link.

The court heard the knife used in the stabbing belonged to the boy, and after Ava was struck to the neck he ran away, discarded his knife and took off his coat, which was later found in a wheelie bin.