June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Chloë Mayer, Senior Reporter
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
A teenager who murdered 16-year-old Hackney rival Julie Sheriff by stabbing her in the head with an afro comb has been locked up for at least a decade.
Julie, of Malvern House, Stamford Hill, was attacked by Rebecca Douglas on May 7 last year after visiting friends in Battersea. She remained in a coma until her death on September 21.
Douglas, whose identity was initially kept under wraps during the Old Bailey trial because of her age, was just 15 when she plunged the steel comb handle into Julie’s left temple during a vicious fight in the street.
The teenager, who is now 16, had accused of Julie of spreading gossip about her.
She told police Julie was wearing the comb in her hair but pulled it out as a weapon, and she snatched it from her and used it against her in “self defence”.
But the jury found Douglas guilty of murder on Tuesday (August 28).
Judge Nicholas Cooke QC lifted the court order protecting Douglas’ identity and sentenced her to detention during Her Majesty’s pleasure - the juvenile equivalent of a life term.
He ordered her to serve a minimum of ten years and warned against the dangers of wearing combs as fashion accessories.
Douglas, of Pimlico, showed no emotion as she was led away.
Julie moved to Britain in 2006 from Sierra Leone, West Africa, where her father, Raouf, was a police officer.
But by 16 she was living in care and had convictions for common assault and attempted robbery.
Mr Sheriff said he feels guilty for bringing his daughter to the UK and has been suicidal as “the result of seeing my beautiful, bubbly, brilliant daughter, bedridden and in a vegetative state”.
“The attack on my daughter was a wicked, savage and senseless attack,” he said.