Report from Granda Reports Merseyside Correspondent Andy Bonner
A 14-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with the murder of 12-year-old Ava White who was stabbed in Liverpool city centre.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was remanded in secure accommodation after appearing at Liverpool Magistrates' Court.
He has also been charged with possession of a bladed article.
He wore a grey tracksuit and sat in the dock for the five-minute hearing.
District Judge Wendy Lloyd remanded him in secure accommodation to appear at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday, 1 December.
During the short five minute hearing, Thomas Hanlon, prosecuting, asked for the case to be sent to Liverpool Crown Court and for the defendant to be remanded in youth detention accommodation until then.
District Judge Wendy Lloyd said: "Because this is a murder case it has to go to the crown court, that is the only place murder cases can be tried.
"I am formally sending it to the crown court for Wednesday morning.
"Between now and then you are going to be kept in secure accommodation."
Ava had been in the city centre with friends on Thursday 25 November following a Christmas lights switch-on when she suffered “catastrophic injuries” in an assault at 8.39pm, police said.
Ava, who was described as “bubbly” and “bright”, was involved in a “verbal argument” which escalated into an “assault on her with a knife”, police said.
The school girl was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after paramedics arrived but died a short time later.
On Saturday, police issued an image of a van which they believe may have been occupied by key witnesses to the killing.
Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs said on Sunday: “We’re continuing to support Ava’s family, and they have requested that their privacy continues to be respected at this difficult time.“It’s also vitally important as we continue the investigation that nobody posts comments or names on social media which could potentially impact upon us getting justice for Ava’s family. Please trust us that we are doing all we can to investigate and update people on this tragic incident, and we do not want anything to jeopardise this".
Ms Coombs urged anyone who captured the incident or aftermath to send images or footage to the force online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/05MP21M43-PO1.