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brianna ghey

Mother of Brianna Ghey calls for ban on social media apps for under-16s

Brianna Ghey’s killers were sentenced in Manchester this week.

THE MOTHER OF Brianna Ghey, the 16-year-old who was murdered by two teenagers known to her last year, has called for young people to be prevented from downloading many social media apps.

Esther Ghey is campaigning for under-16s to be limited to smartphones with built-in restrictions and for any searches for inappropriate material to be automatically flagged to parents.

Earlier this week, Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe were each given a life sentence at Manchester Crown Court and ordered to serve a minimum term of 22 and 20 years respectively before parole.

Both of the murderers were 15 years old when they killed Brianna, who was 16, with a hunting knife after luring her a park.

The trial heard that Jenkinson had watched videos of torture and murder online and researched methods used by serial killers.

The two killers used their phones to communicate with each other about their plans for the murder.

Speaking today on the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, Esther Ghey said she would like to see a law introduced in the UK that would designate specific phones for use by children under the age of 16.

It would mean that “if you’re over 16, you can have an adult phone, but then under the age of 16, you can have a children’s phone, which will not have all of the social media apps that are out there now”, she outlined.

The phones should have software that connects a parent’s and child’s phone so that “if a child is searching the kind of words that Scarlett and Eddie were searching, it will then flag up on the parent’s phone”.

Brianna’s mother said that if the searches her daughter’s killers had made had been flagged, their parents would have been “able to get some kind of help”.

She described the internet as the “Wild West” and said the focus of technology has been on making money instead of “how we protect people or how we can necessarily benefit society”.

In December, Esther paid tribute to Brianna outside Manchester Crown Court, describing her as “funny, witty and fearless” and “larger than life”.

“We miss Brianna so much and our house feels empty without her laughter.”

Additional reporting by Press Association