A teenage boy has been cleared of murder but charged with manslaughter after fatally shooting his girlfriend back in March.
Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh, also 15, was visiting her boyfriend at his house in Hackney Wick, to give him a birthday present, when he shot her in the neck with a counterfeit Italian Beretta pistol that belonged to a gang member.
In earlier police interviews the boy told officers that he had taken the weapon out of a box to show Shereka, whilst his mum was away on holiday. He initially told an officer, “We were both holding it and it went off. I found the gun yesterday. We were looking at it. It went off and hit her in the neck. I didn’t know it was going to go off. She said: ‘you’ve just shot me.’ I didn’t even pull the trigger.”
Following the shooting the boy called 999 but it was already too late for Shereka, who suffered internal bleeding, to be saved.
When arrested the boy reportedly banged his head on the police van as he asked, “Can I say sorry to her mum? It was an accident. Am I going to hell? I didn’t kill her.”
Later on the defendant admitted that in fact he had not found the gun but was looking after it for someone else, refusing to say who.
The boy, who cannot be named, told the Old Bailey last week that he pulled the trigger accidentally when “waving the gun around,” apparently “showing off.”
Judge Charles Wilde QC ruled that the teenage defendant was, “deeply embedded in gang culture” and appeared “totally unmoved” by the shooting.
"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,” said Shereka's mother speaking about the tragedy.