A teenage boy has been sentenced to a minimum of 13 years for the murder of a 12-year-old girl after a row over a Snapchat video.

Ava White was killed after a “chance encounter” with the boy, then 14, in Liverpool city centre on the night the Christmas lights were switched on last year.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, stabbed Ava in the neck with a knife after she asked a group of boys to stop filming her and her friends, on 25 November.

The boy, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attended the sentencing via video link.

Sentencing him at Liverpool Crown Court, Mrs Justice Yip said: “There is only one reason why Ava is dead and that is because you chose to carry a knife and you chose to get it out and use it.

“You enjoyed carrying a knife. You were showing it off to your friends earlier that evening.

“It was a nasty weapon and you should not have had it.”

The teenager was visibly upset while statements were read out by members of Ava’s family, including her mother Leanne White who said, “My beloved Ava dies all over again every morning that I wake up.”

She told the court how Ava had been given special permission to stay out late to attend the Christmas lights event.

“I remember how excited she was for Christmas,” Ms White said, describing her daughter as the “life and soul of the party” who dreamt of becoming a flight attendant and “travelling the world”.

“My heart is broken,” she said. “I just want to go to bed and not wake up.”

Undated handout photo issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the jacket worn by a 14-year-old boy when he stabbed 12-year-old Ava White following an argument in Liverpool city centre on November 25. The teenage boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been found guilty of Ava's murder at Liverpool Crown Court. The boy stabbed Ava following a row over a Snapchat video

Image: The jacket worn by the 14-year-old boy when he stabbed Ava White

Ava’s older sister, Mia, said tearfully: “I am a shadow of my former big, loving sister to Ava.”

The 18-year-old said she felt anxious walking past groups of youths in the street, fearing they could be carrying knives.

She said she now hoped to change other young people’s minds about using the weapons.

Ava’s grandfather Robert, 72, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following her death, the court heard.

In a statement read to the court, Ava’s father Robert Martin said: “Ava was the reason I got out of bed, my reason for living.

“When Ava was taken away it destroyed everything I stood for and worked towards.”

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Ava White’s mum can’t ‘celebrate’

Boy claimed he was ‘scared’ Ava was going to ‘jump him’

The boy, who said he acted in self-defence and denied murder, claimed at trial that he was “scared” Ava was going to “jump him” after she came towards him.

He said he had wanted to “frighten her away” and did not intend to cause any injury.

But the prosecution argued that, after the stabbing, the boy “began a conscious cover-up” of the crime, discarding the knife, his phone and coat.

During the trial, held earlier this year, the court was told the defendant was in possession of a flick knife with a 7.5cm blade and he had previously pleaded guilty to having an offensive weapon.

After his arrest, the court heard the boy told a “series of lies” about his whereabouts that day, including that he was playing Call of Duty at a friend’s house at the time of the killing.

He also said that another boy had stabbed Ava.

‘Whilst it’s a young person, they must face the consequences’

During his trial, a series of text messages sent between the boy and his mother were shown in court, including one in which he said: “I’m not coming home. Not going the cells.”

During his evidence, the teenager was asked why he had not agreed to give his phone to the police, to which he replied: “Because they always take my phone.

“I have had a few phones took when I was in the police station.”

Undated handout photo issued by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the knife used to stab 12-year-old Ava White who died following an argument in Liverpool city centre on November 25. A teenage boy who stabbed Ava following a row over a Snapchat video has been found guilty of her murder. The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had claimed he accidentally stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck in self-defence. Issue date: Tuesday May 24, 2022.

Image: The knife used to stab Ava White

Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs from Merseyside Police said the case “shocked everybody” that worked on it.

“It’s tragic,” she said. “It’s a 12-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy that’s been convicted, so it’s massively shocking.”

“And whilst it’s a very young person that’s perpetrated this crime, they must face the consequences of what they’ve done.”