The 14-year-old boy who murdered Ava White at a Christmas lights switch-on lied to the police because thought he would “get away with it”, a court heard.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a police officer to “shut up you n***e” as he was questioned. He claimed he had accidentally stabbed the 12-year-old girl in self-defence after they rowed over a Snapchat video on 25 November 2021. He denied being in the city centre on the night of the killing and told police another boy was responsible,
He was arrested at about 10.30pm on 25 November after initially telling his mother he was “not going the cells”. The boy was found guilty of murder on Tuesday after just two hours and eight minutes of deliberation.
Jurors were told how Ava was fatally stabbed in the neck in Liverpool city centre after she approached a group of four boys, including the defendant, after realising the boys were filming her and her friends.
More than 20 members of Ava’s family erupted into cheers in the court’s public gallery as the verdict was returned. The defendant, who was on videolink, put his head in his hands.
The jury in his trial heard edited transcripts of five police interviews carried out in the days following his arrest. Following legal discussions, the jury was not told that at the end of his first interview, he told an officer: “Shut up you n****e.”
He also referred to “smoking weed” in part of an interview which was not read to the jury.
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.
He was given a fidget toy which the jury was told could help him concentrate due to his attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
The court heard the knife used in the stabbing belonged to the boy.
The jury was shown CCTV of the boy running from the scene after Ava was stabbed and heard he discarded the knife and his coat, which was later found in a wheelie bin. About 40 minutes after he injured Ava, the boy was contacted by his mother who told him police wanted to speak to him.
The jury heard a series of text messages sent between the boy and his mother, including one in which he said: “I’m not coming home. Not going the cells.”
During his evidence, the teenager was asked why he had not agreed to give his phone to police. He said: “Because they always take my phone.
“I have had a few phones took when I was in the police station.”
In March, the boy’s legal team contacted police to tell them the whereabouts of the knife he used to stab Ava. He was asked in court why he wanted police to have that information and said: “Because I’m telling the truth and I didn’t mean to do it.”