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Accused boy tells court he just wanted to frighten Ava away

General view of Liverpool crown court (Dave Thompso/PA)
General view of Liverpool crown court (Dave Thompso/PA)

The teenager accused of the murder of 12-year-old Ava White has told a jury he was “scared” she would “jump” him.

The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Liverpool Crown Court “I promise, I didn’t mean to hit her” as he gave evidence over videolink on Thursday.

The jury has been told he claims he stabbed Ava, 12, in self-defence after an altercation in Liverpool city centre on the evening of November 25 last year.

The boy said he had been in the city centre with three friends when he had filmed a Snapchat video of Ava and her friends “messing on the floor”.

Ava White death
Ava White (Trinity RC primary school/PA)

The court heard Ava approached him to say “delete the video” and then went to get more of her friends before returning.

The defendant said he heard one of the group tell his friend “delete the f****** video now or I’m going to stab you”.

His friend later told him the boy had a knife, he said.

The teenager told the court he heard Ava say to friends: “Shall we just jump him now cause I feel like it?”

Asked how Ava was, he said: “Quite angry to be honest, she was just like getting in my face and that.”

He said he and his friends walked away but Ava and her group followed them, shouting.

The court was shown CCTV of the moment on School Lane when he stabbed the schoolgirl and the boy was asked why he was seen walking backwards at the start of the footage.

He said: “I think Ava said my name.

“I looked and then she was coming towards me and she was like ‘delete the f****** video now, lad’ and I was like ‘get out of my face’.

“She grabbed me there and I have ran backwards and I think I got my knife out then and kept on running backwards.

“I was just trying to get her away because I was scared.”

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

He told the court he thought Ava was a boy and he did not know if she was “in possession of a weapon”.

The teenager said after stabbing Ava he ran from the scene because he was still scared and he did not think he had hurt the schoolgirl.

He said he had left his coat in a garden, not in the wheelie bin where it was found by police, because he was scared of being identified.

Asked why he got rid of his phone, he said: “Because they always take my phone.

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

The boy said he initially lied about being in the city centre that evening and then claimed another boy was responsible because he thought he would “get away with it”.

He added: “I was scared I was going to go to jail.”

A police cordon near the scene in Liverpool city centre
A police cordon near the scene in Liverpool city centre (PA)

The court heard on March 16 his legal team told police where he had discarded the knife used in the stabbing.

Asked why he wanted police to have that information, he said: “Because I’m telling the truth and I didn’t mean to do it.”

Nick Johnson QC, defending, asked the boy if he intended to stab Ava in the neck.

He said: “No, I promise you.”

Charlotte Newell QC, prosecuting, asked the boy why he had taken a knife into the city centre.

He replied: “Because I thought I was big.”

He said the blade of the knife folded into the handle and he demonstrated how he opened it using one hand.

He told the court that after discarding the knife and coat he went to a shop with his friends where they bought butter for crumpets and he took a selfie.

Asked what mood he was in at that time, the teenager said: “In an alright mood at that time because I didn’t really know what had happened.”

Ms Newell asked why he didn’t tell police in their interview he was defending himself.

The boy said: “Because I was 14, I didn’t know the difference between stuff and I was just scared to be honest.”

He denies murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter.

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