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Reporter who led weekly’s Brianna Ghey coverage joins BBC

The weekly reporter who led his newspaper’s coverage of the Brianna Ghey murder case has landed a new job with the BBC.

Tom Bedworth was involved in the Warrington Guardian’s coverage of the killing “from day one” and, together with Brianna’s mother, helped create the Peace in Mind campaign to create a legacy for the 16-year-old.

Now Tom has fulfilled a career ambition by joining the BBC Breakfast team based at Media City in Salford.

Before his departure he penned a moving first-person piece for the Guardian looking back over his reporting of the case, and was also asked to speak at Sunday’s vigil to mark the anniversary of Brianna’s death.

Tom, pictured above at the vigil, told HTFP: “I’m thrilled to join the Breakfast team in Salford; for as long as I can remember, it’s been my ambition to join the BBC and I’m excited to get cracking at MediaCityUK.

“I couldn’t have got here without the support of the Warrington Guardian team – in particular, Gareth Dunning, Nathan Okell, and Lois Dean. The NW regional editor, Richard Duggan, has provided a lot of guidance along the way, too.

“The biggest story I tackled in Warrington was the murder of Brianna Ghey, and I’m incredibly proud of the campaign I created with Brianna’s mum, Esther. It was humbling to have been asked to speak at the vigil on 11th February, marking the anniversary of Brianna’s death.

“Although my involvement in the campaign now must change with my new role at the BBC, I’m looking forward to watching Brianna’s legacy grow, and to see what Esther is able to achieve in her daughter’s name.”

In his final piece for the Guardian, Tom looked back at the day he received a messsage on social media from a member of the public that there had been a murder in a local park.

He wrote: “Hearing from a member of the public that someone has been murdered in your community in broad daylight is something that no reporter ever wants to experience.

“Nobody anticipates reporting on a murder case, and as every new detail was revealed about the case, the more unnerving the whole situation turned out to be.

“Initially, the police confirmed that the body of a woman had been found; then they revealed it was a teenager; then they confirmed the identity of the person was 16-year-old Brianna Ghey.

“As every new detail was revealed, it became clear to those of us at the Warrington Guardian that it was our duty to our community to report on Brianna’s story with respect and care; we didn’t go knocking on doors and intruding on people’s grief.

“We maintained a respectful distance from Brianna’s family, and ensured we did not cause anyone any distress.

“Now the sentence has been imposed, and the public can move on from the harrowing details of this murder trial, it has been paramount to those of us at the Warrington Guardian that Brianna is remembered for the person who she was, not the way in which she died.

“It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to work so closely with Esther, and the rest of Brianna’s family, as I have worked to tell her story and to help create a legacy for her.

Tom’s piece can be read in full here.