• Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

Boy laughed and ran away after stabbing Ava White in the neck after Snapchat argument

Byscarcity news

May 9, 2022

Ava died on Thursday, November 25 last year after visiting Liverpool city centre with friends to watch the Christmas lights switch-on. 

Police said she was involved in a “verbal argument” in Church Alley, which escalated into an “assault on her with a knife”, at around 8.35pm.

Ava was taken to hospital, but died from what a post-mortem examination found was a stab wound to her neck.

Ava, a Year 8 student at Notre Dame Catholic College in Everton, was described as “hugely” popular, “bright” and “unique”. In the wake of her death, hundreds of people attended a vigil in the city centre and the Radio City tower was lit up blue in her memory.

A 14-year-old boy, from South Liverpool, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder. He admits having an offensive weapon, namely a knife.

A CCTV still shows Ava with friends, she is having a piggyback from one of her friends, walking from Williamson Square to Richmond Street. The group can be seen near a large Christmas tree.

The next stills are from 7.41pm. They are from City Watch cameras, council run cameras. This one is in Church Street. It shows Marks and Spencers and Top Shop.

It shows Boy A and his three friends, Boys B-D. They are walking along Church Street, towards Lord Street. Boy A is marked out with a red icon.

The witnesses says Girl D at 7.29pm showed the shopkeeper something on her phone which appeared to be a photo of a driving licence and he sold her four 35cl bottles of vodka.

The witness confirms Girl D was only 15.

At the time he was 14. He had an iPhone. It was recovered later. The last four digits of his phone number are shown.

Next the jury are shown photos taken from CCTV of the three boys who were with Boy A that evening.

They are Boy C, then 15, Boy B, then 14, and Boy D, then 13. The photos are all taken from November 25.

Phone numbers are shown for Boy C and for Boy D.

A map shows what the witness says are “key locations” in connection with this incident.

Ms Newell says Boy A was charged with the murder of Ava White. He pleaded not guilty and has also denied manslaughter and it is anticipated that the principal issue will be whether he was acting in lawful self defence. 

She says: “That will be a matter for you to determine when you have heard all of the evidence in this trial.”

She says first, it is not for this defendant to prove his innocence – it is for the Crown to make you sure of his guilt on the evidence called in this trial.

Ms Newell says: “Second, a case such as this, involving the untimely death of a young girl is bound to evoke emotions, sympathy and concern. 

“However, you must approach the evidence with a cool logic and sound common sense and if you do, you will not go wrong.”

The jury is told when it resumed he was specifically asked if he was acting in self-defence but made no comment. Shown the footage of the incident from Church Alley where he had stabbed Ava, Boy A claimed that it wasn’t him but another boy. 

The QC suggests that boy was “just a figment of his imagination”. She suggests he made up this person.

Ms Newell says it was pointed out that the person was wearing the same clothes as him he then said that boy had come to his nan’s with him and made him swap clothing and burn his own clothes. 

She says: “He then became angry that he was being blamed for Ava’s death and the interview was paused again”. When it resumed he continued to maintain that boy had stabbed Ava and swapped clothes.

On November 28, Boy A was interviewed again, he initially maintained that person was responsible then said he had “made that up” and then stopped answering questions.

Ms Newell says Boy A’s departure from the scene was captured on CCTV, running through the streets of the city with Boy B. Boy C and Boy D took a separate route although they were to regroup suggesting that they had made contact in order to do so. 

She says Boy A and Boy B paused their sprint after a few minutes to catch their breath and chat in Cornwallis Street before continuing to move away from the scene walking and then running to Pitt Street where he was to discard his weapon in undergrowth. 

That weapon was not recovered by police for some considerable time and although it retained the DNA of the victim on the blade there was little else by way of DNA even though Boy A has now admitted that he handled it. It was a flick knife which, when open, measured 16.5cm which included a blade of 7.5cm and a maximum width along the blade of 2cm.

She says he was also to make some considerable effort to discard the designer coat that he had been wearing stuffing it into a bag and then into a wheelie bin on Duncan Street. She says he goes out of sight of cameras the inference being that it is to an address in Duncan Street and whilst there he seeks alternative refuge contacting Boy C and asking to go to “the flat” believed to be a flat Boy C had access to.

The QC says members of the public and staff at Liverpool One were drawn to the sound of screaming as Ava stumbled out of School Lane and into Church Alley supported by her friends who were crying and panicking, trying to help their injured friend and summon help. She was bleeding heavily and members of the public and staff at Liverpool One sought to stem the bleeding. 

Paramedics arrived on the scene and continued life saving treatment to Ava who was unconscious. Ava was taken by ambulance where she gained consciousness but became very distressed, she was taken to a hospital bed and as she went into cardiac arrest every effort was made to save her life but as the wound had damaged her muscles, windpipe and internal jugular vein there was a catastrophic hemorrhage which caused blood to flow into her airways ultimately causing her death.

Ms Newell says although Boy A was later to tell repeated and deliberate lies claiming that he wasn’t even present and seeking to provide a false alibi or refusing to answer the questions asked of him he was eventually and when it became obvious that he had no choice to admit that he was present.

She says he now says that he was acting in self defence fearing that he was to be stabbed. “However his reaction at the time was to smirk to laugh and to run away, leaving Ava to die whilst he sought to distance himself from his actions.”

Ms Newell says the groups merge again although Ava’s group is depleted to include only her friends Girl B, Girl C, Girl A and Boy H. They walk to the top of Church Alley and emerge on School Lane. 

Ms Newell says in Church Alley and into School Lane Ava was engaging with Boy A and he with her. Doubtless she was angry with him and doubtless he didn’t like that. They were in Church Alley for all of 20 seconds before Ava was stabbed and Boy A and his friends ran away. 

She says: “It is right to say that Boy A moves backwards as Ava approaches him, there seems to be some pushing or shoving and Boy A continues to move backwards.”

The QC says: “His reaction was not to turn and run (as he did after he stabbed her) or to slap or punch her or try to grab her arms or ask the surrounding crowd for assistance, none of whom sought to join in but to reach for his knife and rather than wave it around to ward her off or warn her that he had a knife or to slash at her coat or even her body. 

She says: “Instead it was to thrust a knife into the neck of this unarmed child with what the pathologist was to determine was moderate force, the force we suggest, of a firm punch.”

Ms Newell says she will now play that footage. She says it is extremely upsetting but the injuries cannot be seen.

She says Boy F was 17 years old and therefore the oldest. Although Boy A and Boy C appeared content to ignore Ava’s demands to delete footage and indeed Boy C denied he had a video, it could be seen on his phone and Boy F and Boy G told him to delete it pointing out that one of the girls were 12 and they shouldn’t be arguing with 12 year olds. 

Ms Newell says it was suggested by the older boys that “should they fail to do so this could result in a fight but made it clear that this would not involve weapons”. 

She says Boy C answered that none of them carried blades. Whether he was aware that in fact Boy A was armed is unknown but that was the assurance he gave, wittingly or unwittingly. Boy F, satisfied that footage had been deleted, walked away.

As they approached, Ms Newell says Boy A took out his phone and began filming Ava. She says Boy D and Boy C also trained their phones on the events. She says this footage was to be

distributed by Boy A via the social media platform Snapchat.

She says it was perhaps the inevitable scope for such widespread sharing that caused AW and her friend Girl A to approach Boy A and his laughing friends, ask that they stop filming and delete the footage. 

Ava was not at all happy that she was being filmed and made that plain. At first Boy A and his group didn’t appear to take her seriously at all and Ava ran to get her friends who joined her in confronting Boy A and his group continuing to insist that they delete footage and pointing out that they couldn’t film little kids.

She says one of the older members of Ava’s group, Girl B (15 years) pointed out to them that Ava was ‘just a baby’. 

Boy C said he thought Ava was a lad and that is why he was filming her. 

She says Ava spoke to Boy C who doesn’t back away and she also stands face to face with Boy A who went backwards towards Tarleton Street where they were picked up on another camera.

She says Ava spoke to him very briefly before moving back to speak to Boy C, who produces his phone which she tries to grab but he pulls away from her grasp and she makes no further move for it.

Ms Newell says Ava and her friends leave behind the Royal Court at around 8.25pm, moving towards Williamson Square where a large Christmas tree had been erected and illuminated. 

She says there, “they continued to throw plants at each other, to give each other piggy backs, to fall on the floor and to run around, before moving across the square to the direction of Richmond Street”. 

The QC says Richmond Street leads to Whitechapel Road. It leads to Church Road.

“On Richmond Street Ava was laying in the middle of the street and being dragged around and dragged up by one of her friends.” This is shown on CCTV. They were messing around.