The 14-year-old boy accused of murdering 12-year-old Ava White as she went with friends to see the Christmas lights in Liverpool texted his mother to insist he was ‘gonna end up going the cells for nothing’ after she was knifed in the throat, a court heard.
Ava had been ‘hanging out’ with a group of girls on Merseyside when they encountered another group of children, one of whom began filming the schoolgirl dancing.
The 12-year-old – who was not carrying any kind of weapon – demanded that her alleged killer delete the footage and was stabbed in the neck on November 25 last year following the altercation outside Primark.
The teenage boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons and is therefore referred to as Boy A, denies murder and manslaughter. A jury at Liverpool Crown Court has heard Boy A accepts responsibility for fatally injuring Ava, but argues he acted in self-defence.
Yesterday the court was read a text exchange between the boy and his mother, who urged him to come home because the police were looking for him. She told him that by staying away ‘you will get the blame’.
The teenager replied: ‘I’m not coming home. I’m not going the f***ing cells’, adding he wouldn’t return because he was no ‘up [for] going [to] the cells for nothing’.
His mother replied: ‘They only want to ask you question if you know anything about it’, to which he responded: ‘Mum I know the way they have raided Boy C’s [relative’s] so me and Boy C are getting nicked’.
The boy accused of murdering Ava White texted his mother after she was attacked to say he would not come home believing the police would arrest him ‘for nothing’
Ava died last November after an altercation outside Primark where a gang of boys filmed her without her consent
Friends and relatives carry Ava’s coffin, decorated with pictures of her and her family, at her funeral in Liverpool on November 25
Prosecutors allege Boy A stabbed Ava after she pushed him during an argument over him filming a video of her, which he posted on Snapchat. They claim Boy A smirked, laughed and ran away, leaving her to die, then began a ‘cover up’ by discarding his flick knife, designer coat and mobile phone.
During the second day of the trial jurors were shown CCTV footage of the stabbing, which happened near The Bluecoat arts centre at around 8.35pm.
The jury was later shown various clips of Boy A and one of his friends, Boy B, 14, running away from the scene and heading out of the city centre.
Boy A ditched the knife near some derelict houses and put his designer coat in a blue bag in a wheelie bin.
The court heard the knife wasn’t recovered by police until March 16, after Boy A told officers where to find it. DNA evidence matching Ava’s was identified on the blade.
Boy A’s two other friends, Boy C, 16, and Boy D, 13, headed to the same area on the edge of the city centre, where they split up. Boy D was later arrested at a bus stop on Great George Street.
Footage was played of the three other boys going into a Go Local Shop on Parliament Street at around 9pm. Boy A was shown using his phone in the store.
Charlotte Newell QC, prosecuting, said around 15 minutes later, a series of texts were exchanged between Boy A and his mother.
Police had gone to her home and she had called her son, but he hung up.
It came after Ava’s family cried in court as they watched CCTV footage of the moment the schoolgirl was killed at a Christmas lights switch-on.
The 12-year-old was stabbed in the neck after ‘hanging out’ with a group of girls hours after the event in Liverpool city centre on November 25 last year.
A 14-year-old boy charged with her murder, who can only be named as Boy A for legal reasons, is said to have pulled out a ‘flick knife’ before launching the attack.
He then allegedly smirked, laughed and ran away, then began a ‘cover up’ by discarding his blade, designer coat and mobile phone.
The prosecution have told Liverpool Crown Court that Boy A accepts responsibility for the stabbing, but states he acted in self-defence.
His trial continued yesterday with the playing of CCTV footage of the build-up to the incident.
Prosecutors have said Ava argued with Boy A after he and his group of friends filmed her ‘messing around’ with her group of friends. He later shared the video on Snapchat.
Police staff investigator Callum Suggit told the jury Ava and her friends were in Williamson Square at around 8.15pm.
Footage played in court showed her running with one boy around a Christmas tree and some of her friends swinging plants around.
Charlotte Newell, QC, prosecuting, has said the two groups met by chance. Boy A and his friends, Boys B to D, walked up Richmond Street and encountered Ava’s group at around 8.22pm.
The jury saw a clip of Boy A’s group walking past Ava as she was lying on the ground in the middle of Richmond Street, near Paolo & Donato’s Deli.
Boy A and his friend Boy C could be seen to turn back with the phones held up, apparently filming.
Mr Suggit said Boy A recorded Ava on Snapchat. An officer was later able to film the video on another child’s phone, which was shown to the jury.
He said ‘altercations’ could then be seen between Ava and members of Boy A’s group.
Ms Newell said at one stage Ava could be seen trying to grab Boy C’s phone before both groups walked along Tarleton Street in the direction of Church Street, with Boy A walking backwards, facing Ava.
CCTV showed Ava lying on the ground again in Church Street, as Boy A – walking backwards – and his group headed towards Church Alley at the side of Primark. Ava and another girl were then shown to run across the street.
Mr Suggit said both groups walked up Church Alley towards School Lane and The Bluecoat.
CCTV footage from a camera at Lush was played in court, from which audio could be heard of raised voices.
High Court judge Mrs Justice Amanda Yip said if anyone wanted to leave court they could, before footage from School Lane, at around 20.35 and 35 seconds, was played four times – twice at normal speed and twice slowed down.
Ms Newell said: ‘The CCTV shows Ava pushing Boy A.’ Mr Suggit replied: ‘It does.’
The QC said the clip showed Ava stood in front of Boy A, who had his right arm raised. She said an enlarged still from the footage showed ‘a reflective item’ in his right hand.
Ava White was stabbed in the neck after ‘hanging out’ with a group of girls hours after the event in Liverpool city centre on November 25 last year
Police conduct a search near the scene in Liverpool city centre where 12-year-old Ava White died following an assault last year
The jury heard CCTV showed him with his right hand in front of his body, Ava’s right arm move towards him, then Boy A’s right arm move up and away from Ava, then the schoolgirl move towards his position.
Ms Newell said again a reflective item could be seen in his right hand.
The prosecutor said: ‘Microseconds later, parts of a second later, because it’s still 20.35.39, Boy A is moving backwards around the edge of the group.
‘A combined group of his friends and her friends, Boy A moving backwards around the edge of the group, with Ava following him.’
She said Boy A continued to move backwards around the edge of the group as his right arm was shown in front of him towards Ava and she ‘with her arms outstretched’ in his direction.
At 20.35 and 43 seconds, the prosecutor said Boy A was shown running away.
Ms Newell said: ‘So is it apparent in that second or two, that’s when Ava has received her injury?’ Mr Suggit replied: ‘It is.’
The court heard Boy A continued to run away towards Hanover Street as two of Ava’s friends briefly gave chase, but then returned to their injured friend.
Members of Ava’s family sobbed as an image was shown of her standing in School Lane, with her hand held to her neck.
The court was shown a picture of the knife allegedly used to stab Ava, which was later found discarded, and of the coat worn by the defendant, which was discovered in a wheelie bin.
Boy A, from South Liverpool, denies the schoolgirl’s murder and manslaughter. The trial continues.