A 15 year old boy who shot his girlfriend in the neck on his birthday in March, was today sentenced to nine years’ detention for manslaughter, having been cleared last month of murder.
Judge Charles Wide found the teen guilty of both the manslaughter of Shereka Fab-Ann Marsh and of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. He said that he had ‘no doubt at all’ that the teen pointed the counterfeit 1930s Italian Beretta pistol that he was holding for a friend ‘at Shereka and pulled the trigger to frighten her and… shot her dead.’
The nine-year sentence caused some strong reactions on Twitter. Charnie tweeted: ‘What’s wrong with this system. How has that boy from Hackney only got 9years (sic) for shooting his girlfriend in the neck?!’
The sentence came after the boy changed his story in court, now admitting that he had been standing in front of her and not sitting side by the side on the bed as he had previously stated at the time of the shooting. He added that he had had been waving the gun around, thinking it was unloaded.
Wide commented that the boy was acting with ‘remarkable coolness’ while he was describing the incident, however at the time of his arrest the boy repeatedly told officers it was ‘an accident,’ and asked: ‘Am I going to hell?’
Shereka’s family were present when the sentence was carried out at the Old Bailey and her mother Shyrine Mills issued a statement warning: ‘Guns are not toys.’
Mills added that the two youths should now be studying for their GCSEs, and that the family should be ‘going about our normal daily business, while the courts deal with hardened criminals.’
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has two previous convictions for robbery, during one of which he was armed with a screwdriver.