Ava White's death the 'dreadful cost of carrying a knife' as schoolgirl's killer guilty of murder

The knife used to stab Ava White in the neck. Credit: Crown Prosecution Service

The death of a schoolgirl who was murdered after a Christmas light switch-on in Liverpool is the "dreadful cost of carrying a knife", the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said.

On Tuesday, a 14-year-old boy was found guilty of murdering the 12-year-old girl in the city centre on 25 November 2022.

The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck with a flick knife after he and his group had filmed Ava and her friends without permission.

The defendant fled the scene and began a conscious cover-up of his actions, discarding his knife, his phone and his coat - which were later found.

After he was arrested for murder he continued to try and cover his tracks and prevent the police discovering the truth.

He eventually admitted stabbing Ava, but denied murder, saying he was acting in self-defence.

At Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday, a jury found the 14-year-old boy guilty of murder, following a two-week trial. 

Speaking after the verdict, the Crown Prosecution Service said Ava's 'heartbreaking' death is the "dreadful cost of carrying a knife".

Senior Crown prosecutor Nicola Wyn Williams, of CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Complex Casework Unit, said: "At the heart of this case is a knife that was used to inflict a fatal wound on Ava White.

"Knife crime is taking a heavy toll on society and many of the victims are young.

"The message of the Crown Prosecution Service is - do not carry a knife.

“This case illustrates, amongst many other things, the dreadful cost of carrying a knife.”

The CPS say they have "worked hard to deal with the fact that the victim, defendant and many of the witnesses in this case were children."

The 14-year-old boy found guilty of murdering Ava White will be sentenced in July.