Schoolboy facing years behind bars for shooting Shereka Marsh
PUBLISHED: 17:23 29 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:40 30 September 2014
A schoolboy "deeply embedded in gang culture" - who accidentally shot a 15 year-old girl dead while "showing off" - is facing years behind bars.
The 15-year old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, blasted Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh in the neck as he posed with the fake Beretta handgun at an address in Hackney Wick.
A jury at the Old Bailey acquitted him of murder today, but convicted him of manslaughter and possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
He had been keeping the weapon, which had been used in a gangland shooting a month earlier, for a criminal he would not name.
Shereka, a hardworking pupil at the Urswick School, who was visiting the boy to give him a birthday present, bled to death after the 7.65mm bullet passed through her wrist and into her neck.
The 15 year-old boy at first told police that the gun fired unexpectedly as they both handled the weapon.
But in court he demonstrated how he was showing off in front of Shereka and had no idea it was loaded when he pulled the trigger “accidentally”.
Tests on the Birivetta revealed it had also been used in a shooting which left three men injured in Median Road, Lower Clapton on February 21.
Detectives also found photos of the boy pointing two handguns at the camera, one of which was on Shereka’s phone.
Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC admitted there was no evidence of any motive for the boy deliberately killing Shereka.
But he told jurors that the evidence suggests the gun was fired as a result of the defendant deliberately pulling the trigger as he stood in front of her, pointing the gun towards her neck while she was holding up her left hand.
“If he did shoot Shereka in a fit of anger which he immediately regretted, then this would not be the first case of its kind,” he added.
The boy claimed that the gun was already cocked and ready to fire when he took it out of the box to show Shereka, and it fired as he was “showing off”.
Judge Charles Wide QC said the boy had not shown any remorse during the trial, as he adjourned sentence until next month.
“He seemed totally unmoved. He shot his girlfriend dead. He seemed totally unmoved even when listening to the 999 call.
“On the face of it he is so deeply embedded in gang culture that someone has entrusted him with a gun.
“It is a feature of gang culture that the older men give the guns to younger members to look after.’
The boy was convicted of two attempted robberies in December 2012 and sentenced to a referral order for six months.
It also emerged that he boasted about a confrontation with another gang in January 2014.
Judge Wide told the court: “I form the view that this young man is criminal sophisticated beyond his years.
Prosecutor Jonathan Rees QC said: “He indicated in a text message exchange with Shereka that he and his associates had been involved in a confrontation with another group.
“During the course of that he effectively said it was all right in the end because they had their shanks with them, as in knives.”
The boy was allowed to sit in the well of court for the verdicts and appeared to show no emotion at the verdicts.
He was remanded in custody by the judge and was led down to the cells after the verdicts.