Shereka Marsh’s mother left “haunted by recurring nightmares” but feels “sympathy” towards boy who shot her daughter

Shereka Marsh with her mother Shyrine Mills.

Shereka Marsh with her mother Shyrine Mills. - Credit: Archant

The heartbroken mother of gun victim Shereka Marsh has said she wants everyone to learn from her daughter’s death that the weapons have no place in our community.

Shereka Marsh on sports day at the Urswick School.

Shereka Marsh on sports day at the Urswick School. - Credit: Archant

Shyrine Mills described how her “beautiful” 15 year old daughter’s life was cut tragically short because of the “negligent actions by one of her peers who took it upon himself to involve himself in activities that no child should ever be involved with.”

The boy shot Shereka on his 15th birthday, March 22, and was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at the Old Bailey on Monday.

Ms Mills said: “Guns are not toys and should only be handled by trained professionals in extreme circumstances.

She went on to describe how her daughter’s death has left her “paralysed by grief and pain, haunted by recurring nightmares of the pain she suffered”.

“I keep asking: ‘Why Shereka?’”

“She had so much to live for, so much unfulfilled promise, so many talents, so much humanity and compassion to share.

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“When any mother gives birth, she has an immediate and instinctive need to nurture and protect her child. I would give anything to trade places with Shereka, to take away the anxiety and pain she suffered that day.

“Medication for stress allows me to sleep but only for a short time before I’m overwhelmed with the horror of her suffering again.”

In a victim impact statement, Ms Mills recalls the moment she received the phone call informing her of her daughter’s passing.

“I tried to block it out because I thought it must be a mistake.

“I remember going to the mortuary in order to identify Shereka but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

“My friends identified her and when they told me it was true we all broke down and screamed.

“I realised then it was not a mistake and that it really was my baby Shereka that had been killed and was laying there.”

And yet she says she feels “sympathy” towards the boy who shot her daughter.

“He has to deal with Shereka’s last words, last phone call, last smile and last cry, last scream, last moments of her life before it was brought to an untimely end.

“He can never celebrate and enjoy a ‘happy birthday’ again because from now on he will be haunted by the memory of what happened on his 15th birthday.

”However, I cannot control the contempt and anger my friends and family have towards the defendant. They would like him to receive a long sentence for what he has done.”

The boy will be sentenced next month.