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Tributes to gun victim Shereka Marsh: a “beautiful rare gem”, never satisfied until everyone was smiling

PUBLISHED: 13:56 27 March 2014 | UPDATED: 14:37 27 March 2014

Shereka with her friend.

Shereka with her friend.

Archant

TTributes have flooded in this week for gun victim Shereka Marsh, 15, who was described as a “beautiful rare gem”, and “ray of sunlight”, who lit up the lives of her friends.

Floral tributes laid outside 66 Eastway, Hackney Wick, in memory of teenager Shereka Marsh.Floral tributes laid outside 66 Eastway, Hackney Wick, in memory of teenager Shereka Marsh.

A picture emerged this week of the popular sports prefect who hoped to set up her own business one day, and who was never satisfied until she saw everyone around her with a smile.

Her friends at Urswick School have been hard-hit by her tragic death, and politicians, teachers and even the Jamaican High Commissioner, who she showed round her school a fortnight ago, have expressed sadness and disbelief at her death.

Shereka’s aunt Jasmin Peckoo Tomlinson, who lives in the US, said her niece was “fun, loving, kind, had a big heart and loved sports”.

One of her close friends, Lia Poroosotum, said everyone loved Shereka.

Floral tributes laid outside 66 Eastway, Hackney Wick, in memory of teenager Shereka Marsh.Floral tributes laid outside 66 Eastway, Hackney Wick, in memory of teenager Shereka Marsh.

“The fact that I’ll never see her face again is just heartbreaking and I can’t accept it,” she said.

“All I keep thinking is that she’s in a better place now looking down on us all.”

KK Steel added: “Shereka was like a sister to me and there hasn’t ever been one time I’ve seen her and she hasn’t made me smile. Shereka you were a gift sent from God and now he has taken you back.”

Another friend Deborah Kutoya said: “Shereka was loved so dearly, she still is and will always be loved ever so much.

“Shereka was our very own ray of sunlight, our pride and joy, everything is so different now, so empty.

“I hope justice takes its toll and everything is dealt with fairly.”

Teachers at Urswick School, where a special 
assembly was held in Shereka’s memory on Monday morning, also paid tribute to one of their “shining stars” who was on course to sit 10 GCSEs this summer.

Headteacher of the school in Paragon Road, Richard Brown, recalled how the 
ambitious teenager told him she hoped to do a business course at university before setting up her own company.

‘Bubbly’

He said: “She was a bubbly, lively and an engaging person who was known by most of the students – they all feel they’ve lost a friend.”

Shereka, whose favourite subjects were PE and history, was a good all-rounder academically, and had 
already applied to join the school’s sixth form this September.

Vanessa Blake, Year 11 head, said: “Shereka was a beautiful girl inside and out. She was the type of person that would put a smile on your face if you were ever feeling down, I will miss her beautiful smile and dimples.”

Head of history, Stuart Bennett, added: “Shereka was engaged and engaging – a true character. She wanted to learn and she wanted to learn why events had taken place – she was on her way to becoming a true historian.

“Shereka’s contributions to the lessons were always a highlight – she managed to surgically cut through all the interpretations and ideas and offer her own individual insights that were accurate, thoughtful and true.”

The Jamaican High Commissioner, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, said Shereka’s sudden death had “resonated” with her.

“I can still vividly recall her accompanying me around the school, she spoke clearly and confidently about her plans for the future.

“I am saddened that we have been denied the opportunity to see her fulfil her dreams. I know she would have excelled in her chosen field of endeavour.”

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