Two boys who were with schoolgirl Ava White on the evening of her death were seen running through the city centre with a “Rambo-style” knife, a court has heard.

A 14-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims he stabbed 12-year-old Ava in self-defence after an argument about a Snapchat video he filmed of her in Liverpool on November 25 last year.

On Thursday, Nick Johnson QC, defending, told Liverpool Crown Court that the two teenage boys were with Ava and her friends when they had an initial altercation with the defendant in Williamson Square.

The defendant has claimed he heard one of the boys say “delete the f****** video now or I’m going to stab you” and his friend told him he had seen a knife.

The court heard that the two boys had left Ava’s group before the stabbing but then received a telephone call and ran back, the jury heard.

The court was shown a video interview with a man who saw the two teenagers running past him outside the Yates bar.

The witness, who the court heard was not giving evidence in person because of his autism, said: “They ran down from the top of the road.

“They were running down and they were shouting something and I saw the taller one pass the other person a knife.”

When he was asked to describe the weapon, the man said: “It was, like, not a knife you’d see in your kitchen.

“One of the ones from the movies, something like that.

“A Rambo-style knife.”

He said he rang his mother and told her he had seen a criminal.

The man told police he had seen the two teenagers earlier in the evening and thought they were “up to something”.

He said: “There’s something shady about them.

“They were just stood there next to each other, not talking, they had balaclavas on.”

Ava White death
Ava White (Merseyside Police/PA)

Mr Johnson suggested the evidence was “highly significant” and told the jury the prosecution did not want to dispute it.

CCTV of the boys running was shown to the jury.

Mr Johnson read some agreed facts to the jury before closing the defence case.

He told them the defendant had no previous convictions.

The case is due to resume on Monday with closing speeches.

The boy denies murder and an alternative count of manslaughter.