Hackney shooting: Boy, 15, guilty of girl's manslaughter

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Media captionA 15-year-old boy is cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter

A teenage boy has been found guilty of shooting his 15-year-old girlfriend dead after she went to give him a birthday present.

Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh died after a single bullet from a counterfeit 1930s Italian Beretta pistol struck her in Hackney, east London, in March.

The boy, 15, was cleared of her murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

He was also found guilty at the Old Bailey of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

'Negligent actions'

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was remanded in custody for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

In March, Shereka had gone to give the boy a birthday present, the court heard.

After the shooting the boy called 999 but Shereka had suffered serious internal bleeding and could not be saved, jurors heard.

Following the verdict, in a victim impact statement, Shereka's mother Shyrine Mills said: "Shereka's life was tragically cut 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.

"Guns are not toys and should only be handled by trained professionals in extreme circumstances."

In court, the boy recreated the moment the incident happened, holding his hands together and pointing his fingers towards jurors from the witness box.

Under cross examination, he showed how he was holding the gun with both hands and "waving it" around when he "accidentally pulled the trigger".

He denied that he was posing with the weapon and that was why he had to have his fingers on the trigger.

'An accident'

The boy had insisted that he loved his girlfriend and had no reason to hurt her.

On his arrest at the house, the boy told officers it was "an accident" and exclaimed: "Am I going to hell?" and: "My girl died on my birthday."

Officers went on to examine the boy's mobile phone and found two pictures of him posing with handguns, one of which was pointing at the person who took the photograph.

A search of the boy's bedroom uncovered a stab vest and body armour, but the boy said it was not his.

Jurors were told how the boy initially lied to police about how the shooting happened.

He claimed to have found the gun on Hackney Marshes but later admitted he had been given it to hide for a man in his 20s he refused to name.

It can now be reported that the gun which killed Shereka was "hot property", according to prosecutor Jonathan Rees.

It had been used in a shooting in Finsbury Park the month before in which a car passenger was injured.

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