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Brianna Ghey: Hundreds attend anniversary vigil for 'amazing, unique and joyful' teenager

A year on from Brianna Ghey's murder, friends, family, and well-wishers, many from the trans and LGBTQ+ communities, came together to pay their respects to a young woman so tragically and horrifically killed.

It was an emotional vigil in the centre of Warrington, just five miles from the park where Brianna was murdered.

Those who came were of all ages and different gender identities. But all came with a need to show their support for Brianna and for her legacy.

One woman who had driven from Nottingham with her 15-year-old daughter broke down into tears as she explained: "I didn't know Brianna, but I just feel so much love for her."

"I've got friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, so it means a lot to support that kind of thing," adds her teenage daughter.

Michael Bentham and Malakai Skull are two trans teenagers who attend the same school as one of Brianna's killers.

"It just felt like this was the right thing to do," Malakai said.

Michael explained how it was "important to show solidarity because we're both trans as well".

Friends of Brianna sang songs, and told their stories about how greatly missed she is.

Emily Howden spoke about how "you don't really realise how much you love someone until they're taken from you", and went on to say how they won't get to share 17th birthdays, finishing school and attending prom together.

Brianna's mother, Esther, initially didn't intend to speak at the vigil, but took the stage and explained that she felt she must, after Emily and others had found the courage to do so.

She spoke tearfully about her daughter as an "amazing, unique and joyful teenager".

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She told the 200 or so people: "I will be forever thankful that I spent 16 years with her. She taught me so much, and gave me so much happiness and love."

Fighting back tears she went on to say: "If I could give one piece of advice to any parent, it would be to hug your children tight and never stop telling them you love them."

Esther has already started campaigning for more mental health provision in schools, and better protection for young people online.

Brianna's family hope that may become her legacy.

Clearly nothing can replace Brianna in the hearts of those who knew her.

But today's show of love and support may provide some comfort, and a reassurance that Brianna's legacy will live on.

A two-minute silence was held at the vigil.