The heartbroken mother of murdered schoolgirl, Ava White, has begged the judge to publicly name her daughter’s killer as she claimed she has “nothing to live for”.
Ava, 12, was stabbed in the neck by a 14-year-old boy at a Christmas lights switch on in their hometown of Liverpool in November 2021.
The killer teen who was found guilty of murder following a trial in May has only been referred to as ‘Boy A’ because of reporting restrictions which prevent him from being publicly named.
Ahead of his sentencing today (July 11), Ava’s mum, Leanne, begged Justice Amanda Yip to lift the restrictions on his identity, as she described her anguish.
But Justice Yip was concerned for Boy A’s safety and welfare after hearing he had already been “subject to threats” while in custody, and ruled against naming him.
Leanne said: “It’s not one horrific moment, our lives became permanently divided into before and after.
“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.
“She was my life, the life and soul of the party. She was a happy, healthy child adored by her family. The light of my life was dimmed forever.
“Now I have nothing to live for. I remember how excited she was for Christmas. Never could I imagine I would never see my beautiful baby alive again.
“My heart is broken. I will never hear her laughter or hold her in my arms. Precious memories are all I have left of my Ava.
“Ava was a kind-hearted little girl. She was more than happy to offer support where it was needed, and people would come to her knowing she would do her best for them
“I will never see her grow into an adult, marry or give birth to children.”
Leanne said her daughter wanted to travel the world and would have had a “wonderful life”.
She added: “Laughter was not missing from our home as it is now, neither was happiness.
“We were once a happy family getting on with our lives. I was once outgoing, but I now dread each new day. My baby was murdered.
“All this horror was caused by an individual who insisted on recording Ava on his phone. She was 12 years old, a child.
“She had only gone to watch the lights being switched on for Christmas. How could we ever imagine this would lead to her death?
“Rest in peace my baby girl, you are loved. The people of Liverpool have been so kind. To all the people of Liverpool, our heartfelt thanks to you.”
Justice Yip said she understood the family’s desire for Ava’s killer to be named but that she had to consider all factors.
She explained Merseyside Police highlighted significant community tensions and expressed concern about the risk of physical and emotional harm to the defendant and his family, if he were named.
Justice Yip said: “I must strike a fair balance between the interests of the child and the wider public interest.
“The welfare of the child must be given great weight, but will not always trump other considerations.”
She added: “I entirely understand the desire of Ava’s family that the defendant is publicly identified.
“The defendant’s mother highlights her concerns about his welfare and the impact upon his family.
“She is concerned for his safety and mental health.”
Boy A’s defence told Justice Yip that naming him could result in “serious injury” and outlined how he had already been threatened.
Justice Yip concluded that the defendant’s welfare concerns outweighed the public interest in revealing his identity.
She said: “In this case, there are real and immediate concerns for the defendant if his identity becomes more widely known.
“Having considered all the circumstances, I have concluded that the public interest is outweighed by the need to safeguard the welfare of the defendant.
“There is evidence that the authorities harbour a genuine concern to safeguard him.
“I take into account the safety and welfare of his family.
“I refuse the application for an expecting direction.”
A jury found Boy A unanimously guilty following a trial which heard that a dispute had broken out between Ava and himself over a video posted on Snapchat.
Ava was stabbed in the neck with a 7.5 inch flick blade and died as a result of her injuries in hospital.
Tributes flooded in for the schoolgirl with hundreds gathering for her funeral at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral just before Christmas last year.