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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 July 2006, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Drug dealer denies Byfield murder
Toni-Ann Byfield
Toni-Ann was shot in the back
A drug dealer has denied killing a seven-year-old girl who allegedly witnessed him shooting her father.

Joel Smith told the Old Bailey he did not murder Toni-Ann and Bertram Byfield at a bedsit in Kensal Green, north-west London, in 2003.

When asked by his counsel, Paul Lewis QC, if he had killed them, Mr Smith replied: "No I did not."

The 32-year-old, of no fixed address, told the court he was staying with a friend on the day of the murders.

He had met Mr Byfield at the 2003 Notting Hill Carnival the month before the killings and bought some cannabis from him, he added.

Crack cocaine

"Until that day he was a stranger," Mr Smith told the court.

Mr Smith said he was born in Lambeth, south London, but had spent much of his early years living next door to the home where Mr Byfield was living when he died.

The jury heard he has two sons and two daughters by two different mothers and had worked in the security, demolition and construction industries.

But in 2003 he was dealing crack cocaine in London and Liverpool, where he had relatives, the court heard.

When the Byfields died he did not have a fixed address in London, but was staying with a friend, he told the jury.

The trial continues.

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