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Brianna Ghey’s mother Esther hits out at trolls’ ‘hateful’ abuse of her on social media


The mother of murdered transgender teenager Brianna Ghey has condemned ‘hateful’ abuse of her on social media.

Esther Ghey said attacks on her began after she started campaigning for better protection for children online.

Ms Ghey, 37, said she was ‘all for free speech’ but added: ‘Some of these comments I have seen on social media posts, they are just hateful.’

She previously said she was shocked to discover ‘disgusting’ posts directed at Brianna, 16, on X, formerly Twitter, following her murder. Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe were both 15 when they lured Brianna to Linear park in Culcheth, near Warrington, Cheshire, and stabbed her to death on February 11 last year.

In the weeks before, ‘sadistic’ Jenkinson, who was obsessed with serial killers, began watching videos of real-life torture and killing on the dark web. She and Ratcliffe plotted to murder Brianna via a series of vile messages on Snapchat and WhatsApp.

Esther Ghey, the mother of murdered teenager Brianna Ghey, said that she has been receiving 'hateful' abuse over social media

Esther Ghey, the mother of murdered teenager Brianna Ghey, said that she has been receiving ‘hateful’ abuse over social media

Brianna Ghey, 16, was found with fatal wounds in a park near Warrington, Cheshire, in February 2023. She had been lured there by Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both 15 at the time

Brianna Ghey, 16, was found with fatal wounds in a park near Warrington, Cheshire, in February 2023. She had been lured there by Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, both 15 at the time

Ms Ghey has begun campaigning for legislation to force mobile phone companies to take more responsibility for safeguarding children from harmful content

Ms Ghey has begun campaigning for legislation to force mobile phone companies to take more responsibility for safeguarding children from harmful content

This month they were sentenced to life, with Jenkinson serving a minimum 22 years and Ratcliffe 20 years.

Since then, Ms Ghey has begun campaigning for legislation to force mobile phone companies to take more responsibility for safeguarding children from harmful content.

She wants access to social media apps to be barred for under-16s and wants software installed on children’s phones which flags inappropriate material to their parents.

Yesterday she told Radio 4’s Today programme that the Government’s Online Safety Act was a ‘step in the right direction’ but would not be sufficient to protect children from the ‘vast’ amount of ‘horrible’ content on the internet. ‘I don’t think the Online Safety Bill is enough,’ she said. ‘The internet and social media is so vast, it will be so hard to police.

‘I am all for free speech but some of the comments I have seen on social media posts, after some of the articles I’ve done, they are just hateful comments.

‘The Online Safety Bill is not going to protect children and young people from seeing that kind of horrible content because I don’t think that will be deemed as harmful.’

She said that smartphone companies were too concerned with ‘generating money’ to worry about the impact on the public.

Jenkinson, who was obsessed with serial killers, began watching videos of real-life torture and killing on the dark web. She plotted to kill Brianna with Ratcliffe

Jenkinson, who was obsessed with serial killers, began watching videos of real-life torture and killing on the dark web. She plotted to kill Brianna with Ratcliffe

Both Jenkinson and Ratcliffe were sentenced earlier this month. Jenkinson will serve a minimum of 22 years, while Ratcliffe will serve a minimum of 20 years

Both Jenkinson and Ratcliffe were sentenced earlier this month. Jenkinson will serve a minimum of 22 years, while Ratcliffe will serve a minimum of 20 years 

Under the Act, search engines and social media firms face multi-million-pound fines if they fail to protect users, particularly children, from harmful and illegal content.

Although it passed into law last October, the Act has still not come into force fully, to the frustration of child safety campaigners. Regulator Ofcom is consulting on several draft codes of practice that internet firms must adhere to, but there is no fixed date when these will be completed.

Ms Ghey spoke exclusively to the Daily Mail last week about how mindfulness has helped her cope with the past 12 months and how she hoped to raise money to fund a mindfulness teacher in every school in Britain ‘as Brianna’s legacy’.

She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday: ‘There is a misconception mindfulness a bit airy-fairy but it’s about building mental fitness.

‘Just as you would go to the gym and lift heavy weights to build muscle and become fit, it’s the same thing for your mind – you are building that mental fitness and mental resilience. That is something that young people are lacking so much.

‘I have practised mindfulness for eight years and I really think it helped me to take the impact of such a horrendous thing happening.’



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