HERE is how you can sign a petition by the mother of Brianna Ghey looking to impose an age limit for smartphone usage.

Esther Ghey is calling for social media apps to be banned on smartphones for under-16s after two youths were sentenced for her daughter’s murder.

Brianna was fatally stabbed by Scarlett Jenkinson and Eddie Ratcliffe, from Leigh, in Culcheth Linear Park, Warrington on February 11 last year.

The pair, both aged 16 now, but 15 at the time, were jailed for life, with minimum terms of 22 and 20 years respectively on Friday, with a judge also lifting reporting restrictions allowing them to be named.

Jenkinson visited websites showing images of torture and extreme violence before she murdered Brianna, and the killing itself had been arranged on social messaging apps.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Esther said child-safe phones monitoring children’s internet use would ‘without doubt’ have saved her daughter’s life.

She is campaigning for new laws ‘making mobile phone companies take more responsibility’ in helping parents safeguard children online and monitor their internet usage.

“I would like to see mobile phone companies take more responsibility.

“It is so difficult for a parent to safeguard their children. They carry a mobile phone in their pockets 24/7 now – smartphones with the internet and all the social media sites.

“It is so difficult to keep on top of what they’re doing.

“We have set up a petition, which we would like all parents to sign, to have law introduced so there are mobile phones suitable for under 16s.

Brianna Ghey with her mother Esther

Brianna Ghey with her mother Esther

“If you are over 16, you can have an adult phone. But if you are under, you can have a child's phone which will not have all the social media apps out there now.

“We would also like to have software which is automatically downloaded on parents’ phones which links to children’s phones to highlight keywords.

“There is software already available which schools are using. I feel it is such a simple solution, and I do not understand why we have not actually done something like this already.”

The petition is already close to reaching the 1,000-signature mark, and if you would like to sign, visit

The petition reads: “This petition is born out of a personal tragedy. On February 11, 2023, Brianna Ghey lost her life in an incident that was planned using the internet.

“Her killers had easy access to harmful content online, including the ‘dark web’, where they watched disturbing videos.

“In addition to this, during her lifetime, Brianna herself struggled with mental health issues and was secretly accessing pro-anorexia and self-harm sites on her smartphone.

“This story is a stark reminder of the dangers that unrestricted technology use can pose to our children. It is not just about physical harm; it is also about psychological impact.

“The internet is filled with harmful content that can easily be accessed by children without meaningful safeguards in place.

“We urge mobile phone companies to take responsibility for safeguarding children against such risks associated with technology use.

“We propose an age limit for smartphone usage and stricter controls over access to social media apps and unsupervised internet use.

Brianna Ghey

Brianna Ghey

“According to Ofcom, 49 per cent of eight to 11-year-olds have a smartphone. This early exposure can lead them into dangerous territories online if left unchecked.

“Smartphone use in young people has also been shown to impact mood, increasing the risk of depression and anxiety. It is time we protect our children from these potential harms in their digital lives.

“We ask you – parents, educators, concerned citizens – to join us in urging mobile phone companies to implement these changes for the safety of our children and future children.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was asked if such a proposal was practical. When speaking to broadcasters in Northern Ireland.

“My thoughts are with Brianna’s family,” he said, after the ‘unspeakable, unspeakable, awful act’.

“Hopefully the recent sentencing provides some sense of justice,” he commented.

“I think the other thing to say is actually how Brianna’s mother has responded in the face of this tragedy, with empathy and compassion, I think is quite frankly extraordinary.”

He praised her ‘enormous amount of humanity in the face of something that is the worst of humanity’, adding: “She deserves enormous praise for that.”

He continued: “As a parent, I am always worried about social media and what my young girls are exposed to.

“That is why I am pleased we have passed the Online Safety Act over the last year, and that means the regulator now has tough new powers to control what is exposed to children online.

“If the big social media companies do not comply with that, the regulator is able to levy very significant fines on them, and the priority now is making sure that act is up and running.”