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The father of schoolgirl Ava White, who was killed in Liverpool City centre last week, has said her family is “completely devastated and heartbroken”.
In a statement released by Merseyside Police on Friday evening, Ava’s father Robert Martin said: “We would like to say thank you to everybody for their ongoing support during this devastating time.
“Thank you to every one of you for your kind messages and donations.
“As Ava’s family we are completely devastated and heartbroken by what has happened and we ask that you respect our privacy at this time and allow us to grieve as a family.”
Hundreds are expected to attend a vigil this evening on Church Street from 6pm in memory of Ava with blessing from her family.
Ava, who was just 12 years old, had been in Liverpool city centre with friends on November 25 when she was stabbed in the neck with a knife at about 8.30pm, Liverpool Crown Court heard on Wednesday.
A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with Ava’s murder and possession of an offensive weapon.
He appeared at Liverpool Crown Court via videolink on Wednesday,
Ava, who has been described as “popular” and “bright”, was involved in a “verbal argument” which escalated into an “assault on her with a knife” in the city centre following a Christmas lights switch-on, police said previously.
Ava was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital after paramedics arrived, but died a short time later.
Officers have urged people not to post names or comments on social media.
The teenager charged with Ava’s murder will next attend court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on February 18.
Three other boys, aged between 13 and 15, were also arrested and have been conditionally bailed as inquiries continue.
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