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999 call played to jury in Brianna Ghey murder trial

Brianna Ghey was found stabbed in a park near Warrington in February (Family handout/Cheshire Police/PA)
Brianna Ghey was found stabbed in a park near Warrington in February (Family handout/Cheshire Police/PA)

A distressing 999 call made by a dog walker who found the body of transgender teenager Brianna Ghey has been played to a jury.

The brief call was made by Kathryn Vize, who had been walking her dog with her husband Andrew when they came across the dying 16-year-old down a path through woods in a park.

Brianna, 16, from Birchwood, Warrington, had been stabbed 28 times with a hunting knife in Culcheth Linear Park, near Warrington, on February 11 earlier this year.

A girl and a boy, both now aged 16, identified only as X and Y, are on trial for murder at Manchester Crown Court.

Both have pleaded not guilty and blame each other for the killing, the jury has heard. Neither defendant can be named because of their ages.

Beginning at 3.13pm, the 999 call from Mrs Vize, breathing heavily and clearly distressed, says, “Police and ambulance. I’m in Culcheth Linear Park. Somebody has been attacked. We have seen some of the attackers run away from the body. She’s very hurt.”

The female call operator checks the location.

Mrs Vize said: “She’s halfway down some stairs. She’s bleeding heavily. She’s blood on her legs and on her back. She’s really hurt.

“We thought it was a dummy at first. I don’t want to touch her either. I don’t know if she’s alive.

“She did twitch before. It’s an absolute mess.”

Mrs Vize tells the operator her husband is going to wait with Brianna while she goes to the car park to direct arriving emergency services.

Breathing heavily, Mrs Vize continues the call: “Oh God! Oh God!”

The operator tells her: “OK, take some deep breaths. Do you think she’s been hit?”

Mrs Vize says: “I think she’s been attacked. She may have been stabbed. There’s blood coming out of her back. Oh my God! Oh my God!”

She then describes the suspects as a girl and a boy, teenagers, in dark clothing with hoods up.

The operator continues: “Is she breathing?”

Mrs Vize: “No, I don’t think so. I can’t see her face, it’s covered in blood.”

Operator: “Is she breathing?”

Lucy Letby court case
Two teenagers, identified only as X and Y, are on trial at Manchester Crown Court accused of the murder of Brianna Ghey (Peter Byrne PA)

Mrs Vize: “I don’t know. It’s awful. She looks dead to me. She’s dressed like a teenager. Oh God! Are they coming quickly? It’s a nightmare.”

Operator: “Can you see if she’s breathing at all?”

Mrs Vize: “I can’t … shirt soaked in blood on her back…”

Operator: “Can you ask your husband to put pressure on the wound?”

Mrs Vize: “I don’t think there’s anything you can do for her. Oh God!”

Mrs Vize becomes increasingly distressed and the call ends with the operator telling her multiple police units and paramedics are on the way.

Trial judge Mrs Justice Yip told jurors: “I think that’s an appropriate time to take a break,” and the hearing adjourned briefly.

The jury was then shown a police video interview with Mrs Vize, filmed the day after Brianna’s death.

Mrs Vize said she and her husband had been with their two dogs in Culcheth Linear Park when she saw a male and a female.

She said: “When I first saw them I thought they were walking towards me but when I looked up he was stooping and I thought he’s putting a dog on the lead.”

She said she later realised he had been standing “over the body”.

She told police the two crossed the path and went into a farmer’s field.

She said: “At first they appeared to be walking then they started to run, but it wasn’t a sprint, more of a lollop.

“It was just so suspicious. They obviously saw us and felt they had to go because their pace definitely quickened up when they saw us.”

She said they were “silent” when she saw them and looked as if they were dressed in a “goth-type style”.

She said she did not see the male’s face but the female made eye contact with her.

Mrs Vize said she then saw Brianna’s body.

She said her shirt was soaked in blood and she looked “like a rag doll”.

She told police she then rang 999 and told them there had been a serious attack.

She added: “I can’t say she was dead for sure. I felt she was dead and I just felt very, very frightened and just thought if there’s any chance of help for this poor girl we need to get onto the police straight away.”

In his police interview, which was also played to the jury, Mrs Vize’s husband described seeing a couple walking in a field to their right at quite a fast pace.

He described them as “furtive” and “hurried” and said he made eye contact with the male but it was interrupted because he partially covered his face with a hood.

He added: “I was aware that they had clocked us. It almost made them sort of pace in their speed, so they reacted to seeing us in that suspicious way.”

He said after seeing the two he thought “what are we going to find”, before seeing Brianna on the path.

Mr Vize told police he thought he saw Brianna’s chest move.

He added: “I bent down to try to see signs of life and obviously to speak to her to say ‘hang in, we’re phoning the police’.”

Pc Andrew Chadwick, from Cheshire Constabulary, told the jury he was on patrol in a vehicle when he was dispatched to the park after Mrs Vize’s 999 call.

He ran through the park to the scene and said he located Brianna in a “almost foetal position”, lying on her front but not completely face down.

Pc Chadwick said: “I rolled her on to her back and pulled her away from the stairs.”

The officer said he felt warm blood on her neck with multiple wounds to her head, neck, body and back, and she was bleeding heavily with her clothing soaked in blood.

He could not detect a pulse but cut away her clothing and began chest compressions.

Paramedics arrived five minutes later and took over while Pc Chadwick helped guide in an air ambulance to land in the field next to the park.

Brianna was pronounced dead at 4.02pm.

The trial, now on its fourth day, has already heard:

– X and Y had a fixation with torture, violence and death.

– The pair had a “kill list” of other child victims, jurors heard.

– A “murder plan” to kill Brianna was found in X’s bedroom.

– She posted a tribute to her alleged victim on social media after the killing.

– X had an interest in serial killers.

The trial was adjourned until Friday morning.