Brianna Ghey: Teens warned over sharing killers' names on social media

Brianna Ghey's killers have now been named as 16-year-olds Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe as they were handed life sentences.

The pair were both 15 at the time of the "frenzied and ferocious" knife attack on the trans teenager.

Up until their names were revealed, however, there had been strict reporting restrictions in place and their identities kept secret until Friday, February 2, when they were sentenced.

But if you've been on TikTok over the past few months and had an interest in this story, you might have seen their names already being used, in search bars and in comments.

News organisations, including our social accounts, had not named them up until today - why?

Because the killers in this case were under-18 they're entitled to anonymity, regardless of how serious the crime was, unless the judge overseeing the trial agreed it was right to name them.

If there's a live police investigation or court case, then commenting, speculating or re-sharing information could land you in trouble.

Credit: PA / TikTok

Attorney General, Victoria Prentis told ITV News users could be fined or face up to two years in prison for breaking these rules.

“We advise people to think carefully before posting anything about active court proceedings on social media.

“If you share information, such as details about people in a current or forthcoming case, it could cause the trial to be delayed. 

“In the most serious cases, it could amount to contempt of court and you may face a fine or up to two years in prison."

We found several search terms including "brianna ghey suspect photos", "brianna ghey suspects scarlett jenkinson" and "scarlett jenkinson eddie ratcliffe [sic]".

There are concerns that due to the TikTok's popularity among a younger demographic, many young people could be at risk of breaking serious laws.

We flagged these to TikTok who told us they'll work quickly to remove any content that is "potentially in breach of an order".

According to a TikTok spokesperson: "Our Community Guidelines set out the rules our community agrees to when using TikTok.

"TikTok is committed to cooperating with law enforcement while respecting the privacy, freedom of expression, and other rights of our users."

The group responsible for reviewing laws in England and Wales has now said it will look into the current law that governs contempt of court to ensure the "regime is simple, clear and fair".

"We'll be issuing a public consultation paper shortly," the Law Commission told us, "which includes consideration of legal responses to the publication of material about court cases on social media."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...