July 11, 2022, 2:28 p.m. | Updated: July 11, 2022, 4:31 PM
Ava White’s mother has said her family has been torn apart by the teenager’s death after a 15-year-old boy was given a minimum sentence of 13 years for stabbing her to death in Liverpool on Saturday. last year.
The boy, 15, was given a life sentence on Monday for the fatal stabbing, which took place in Liverpool city center on November 25 last year as Ava watched the Christmas lights being switched on from the city.
Her mother, Leanne, said: “The effect on my family is that I can no longer see my nieces and nephews.
“We can’t celebrate anything as a family, it’s too painful and hurtful without Ava.
“It had a profound impact on his friends. His friends saw things that night that no child should ever see.
“And the adults who came to Ava’s aid that night, it had a profound impact on them as well.”
She added: “”Ava’s memories will always make my family laugh, they are everywhere.
“She’s everywhere in my house, she’s everywhere with me, and there’s not a conversation I have without Ava being involved.”
Leanne also called for more education about carrying a knife and warned: “If you put a knife in your pocket, you intend to use it and you destroy not only your own life, but also that of your family.”
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Leanne also addressed Liverpool Crown Court today ahead of sentencing. She said: “My beloved Ava dies again every morning that I wake up.
“My Ava dies again every moment she is not with us for the rest of our lives.”
The defendant, appearing via video link, covered his face with his hand as Ms White and her eldest daughter Mia, 18, tearfully addressed the court, where more than 20 family members and friends of Ava were in the public gallery.
Mia said, “I am a shadow of my loving former big sister Ava.”
She said she looked forward to passing groups of young people on the street in case they were carrying knives and now hoped to change other young people’s minds about using knives.
The accused, who was 14 at the time of Ava’s death, stabbed the schoolgirl in the neck following an argument over a Snapchat video.
He claimed he accidentally stabbed her in self-defense, but a jury found him guilty of murder following a two-week trial in May.
The court heard the boy, who suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attended a special school, had previously been served with a community resolution notice after hitting a PCSO in July last.
At the time of Ava’s death, the boy was charged with other offenses which have yet to be resolved, the court was told, and had come to the attention of authorities due to fears that it is exploited by older and more criminally sophisticated people.
Nick Johnson QC, defending, said the defendant carried the knife because he had already been the victim of a crime.
Referring to a pre-sentence report on the defendant, Mr Johnson said: ‘One of the things that stands out is the suggestion that as part of his background he had been desensitized to violence, and that is not as a perpetrator of violence.”
The court heard that Ava and her friends were involved in an argument with the defendant and three of his friends after the boys recorded Snapchat videos of the group.
Friends of Ava said the boy ‘smiled’ after he stabbed her in School Lane just after 8.30pm.
The court heard that after Ava was punched in the neck, the defendant fled, threw away his knife and took off his coat, which was later found in a wheelie bin.
CCTV showed him and his friends at a store where the accused took a selfie and the group bought butter, which he said was for crumpets.
He then went to a friend’s house and when his mother contacted him because the police wanted to talk to him, he told her he was playing a video game.
After his arrest just after 10:30 p.m. he initially told police he had not been downtown, but in later interviews he accused another boy of being stabbed.
Requests to lift reporting restrictions on the identity of the accused were denied by the judge.