Leanne White: Ava White’s mother says she is living a life sentence

Leanne White, the mother of Ava White, who was stabbed to death a year ago after an argument over Snapchat, has said she feels like she is serving a life sentence.

The 12-year-old was killed in Liverpool’s city center after the Christmas lights were turned on in November 2021.

Leanne White, speaking publicly for the first time about her daughter’s death, said that night “was just a blur.”

Leanne White: Ava White's mother says she is living a life sentence
Ava White was out with friends in Liverpool when she was attacked

In July, a 15-year-old boy who cannot be identified was sentenced to prison for her murder.

He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 13 years.

The trial heard that Ava and her friends got into an argument with the teenager and three of his friends after the boys recorded Snapchat videos of her group.

Ava’s friends said the boy, who was 14 at the time, “grinned” after stabbing her in the neck with a flick-knife before fleeing the scene.

She was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with serious injuries and died shortly afterwards.

Ms White, 39, explained to BBC Radio Merseyside: “We are the ones who are serving the life sentence. It is easier for the offender to commit the crime, serve 13 years in prison, and then be released.

“It’s us and Ava doing the life sentence.”

She recalled the night Ava was murdered, saying: “I just got a phone call from my sister saying Ava had been stabbed… and I remember thinking she had made a mistake… Ava was not going to be stabbed.

Leanne White: Ava White's mother says she is living a life sentence

“I went straight up to Alder Hey, and everything after that was a blur.”

Ms White described her daughter as “very mischievous”.

“She was funny, she was a practical joker. She was always hiding behind the doors popping out when I was doing the dishes… jumping scaring me. She loved trampolining, she loved gymnastics,” she said.

“She had a lot of friends. I still speak with her friends.”

Ms White, along with Ava’s 19-year-old sister, Mia, recently met other families who had also lost people who were stabbed.

She said: “It’s devastating to meet someone who’s feeling exactly the same way you’re feeling, it’s heartbreaking.

“And then to meet siblings… to see what they’re going through.

Leanne White: Ava White's mother says she is living a life sentence

“I see Mia go through it on a daily basis and it’s just heartbreaking.”

The Ava White Foundation was established by the family to raise awareness about the impact knife crime has on families.

They have been raising funds to install bleed control kits, which are designed to treat stab wounds, in public places, with the goal of distributing 50 kits throughout Liverpool city centre.