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Wales Online
Wales Online
Josh Payne, PA Chief Reporter & Nathan Russell

Brianna Ghey murder probe police investigating if killing was a hate crime

Detectives probing the death of 16-year-old Brianna Ghey have said they are investigating whether the stabbing was a hate crime.

The teenager, from Birchwood in Warrington, Cheshire, was found by members of the public as she lay wounded on a path in Linear Park, Culcheth, at around 3.13pm on Saturday. Two other teenagers - a boy and a girl, both aged 15 - have been arrested on suspicion of Brianna’s murder.

Cheshire Police previously said there was no evidence to suggest Brianna, who was a transgender girl, was the victim of a hate crime. But on Tuesday, the force issued a statement which said all lines of inquiry were being explored, “including whether this was a hate crime”.

A boy and a girl, both aged 15, were arrested on suspicion of Brianna’s murder and detectives have been granted an extension of 30 hours to further question the two suspects, police said.

A GoFundMe crowdfunding page set up to help the schoolgirl’s family has passed £70,000 in donations just one day after it was set up. More than 4,500 people from 41 different countries have contributed to the fundraising efforts, GoFundMe confirmed.

Members of the public attend a candle-lit vigil outside St George's Hall, Liverpool (PA)

Candlelit vigils, organised by members of the transgender community, are set to take place across the country in memory of the teenager. In the coming days, vigils are due to be held in cities around the UK. People gathered together for a candle-lit vigil at College Green in Bristol city centre on Tuesday evening while at the same time a vigil took place at St George’s Hall in Liverpool.

In a tribute issued after Brianna’s death on behalf of her family, they said the teenager was a “much-loved daughter, granddaughter, and baby sister”. The statement continued: “She was a larger-than-life character who would leave a lasting impression on all that met her.

“Brianna was beautiful, witty and hilarious. Brianna was strong, fearless and one of a kind. The loss of her young life has left a massive hole in our family, and we know that the teachers and her friends who were involved in her life will feel the same.”

A number of police vans were seen parked in the surrounding area after the incident, with a number of uniformed officers patrolling the park. A large section of the area was cordoned off by police tape, and police dogs were also seen at the scene.

The headteacher at Brianna’s school, Birchwood Community High School, said they were “shocked and truly devastated” by her death. A number of schoolchildren, still in their school uniforms, placed flowers at the police cordon at the entrance to the park on Monday.

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