What happened to Ava White? Murder of 12 year old girl in Liverpool explained - and who is her killer
A 14-year-old boy was found guilty of stabbing the schoolgirl in Liverpool City Centre
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Schoolgirl Ava White was just 12 years old when she was fatally stabbed in the neck following a Christmas lights switch-on.
On the fateful evening of 25 November last year she had been in Liverpool city centre for the event.
A teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has now been convicted of her murder and sentenced to life following his trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
But what happened to Ava, and who is her killer? This is what you need to know.
What happened to Ava White?
Ava had been in the city with friends on Thursday 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 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”.
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.
It had been alledged that the teenager was being exploited by known criminals, while he was also due to appear in court over charges of assault on two women, although this court date had not happened at the time of Ava’s murder.
During his sentencing trial, the court was told that the teenager suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attended a special school. He also had been subject to a community resolution notice after hitting a police community service officer last July.
What has been said about Ava?
After her death, her father, Robert Martin, said the family were “completely devastated and heartbroken”.
Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to Ava at a vigil held in her memory in December.
Hundreds of balloons, some in the shape of the letter A, were released at the start of the vigil.
Many people wore hoodies with Ava’s face on and others had her name written on their faces.
At Ava’s funeral the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, said: “We know that Ava was a popular young person and she had many friends all over Liverpool. Many of you here today, you will have special memories of her – 12 years of very special moments.
“I am told that she would try anything once – even the rides on the fair that she was not big enough for.
“Some of you will remember her as a daredevil, or as a real character who always brightened up the day or the moment by her presence.
“Ava was a lovely young person who enjoyed singing and dancing. She loved going on holiday and she would make up her own dances – she was very energetic and was TikTok famous. She was especially good at mixed martial arts and at football.
“This strong-willed girl, Ava, was loved by so many people. Heaven will be a happier place because of her exuberance. She will undoubtedly have taken it by storm.”