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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
'Sentence' for Danielle's mother
by Jamie Thompson and Jeremy Ball
BBC News, Nottingham

Paula Platt
Paula Platt says all her children have been affected
Junior Andrews and Mark Kelly are starting life behind bars after being convicted of the murder of Nottingham schoolgirl Danielle Beccan.

But for her mother, Paula Platt, the day her daughter was shot dead brought a life sentence of its own for her and her family.

Mrs Platt says her faith has helped her cope in the aftermath of the tragedy.

But she hopes her daughter's killers are haunted for the rest of their lives by what they have done.

"We've got a life sentence and they deserve at least that," said Mrs Platt.

"I would hate to think that her death has been in vain. Her life wasn't in vain, I don't want her death to be in vain.

"I want people to realise the impact of not just gun crime but any kind of violent crime.

map of Nottingham
The shooting took place in St Ann's

"I want there to be positives from the loss of life, I want people to realise it doesn't have to be this way."

Mrs Platt and Danielle's stepfather, Robert, are regular worshippers at King's Hall Christian Centre in the St Ann's area of Nottingham.

The close-knit community rallied round after the tragedy, and now the trial has come to an end, she hopes her family can move on.

But she revealed how Danielle's death had affected them all.

"All the children have been affected, I've not only got my two but I've also got stepchildren who are a bit older," she said.

"The younger one, she still asks questions about Danielle, she still mentions her quite frequently.

"What people need to understand is the impact this has on a family.

Whenever they look in the mirror I want Danielle's face to haunt them
Paula Platt on Danielle's killers

"At three years old, she is saying she wants to die as well so she can bring Danielle back.

"My older boy is 10. He had a pair of Danielle's trainers and has absolutely worn them out because he didn't want to take them off.

"It's the little things that people don't appreciate."

Ms Platt revealed how the build up to the murder trial had also been a strain.

"I try not to think of the person who killed her," she said.

"Anger and hurt for me are very negative emotions.

"I'm not saying I never get angry or feel hurt, I do every day.

Danielle Beccan
Danielle Beccan was shot as she walked home from a funfair

"But I can't afford to carry them round with me. Those feelings will just eat away at me and won't have any effect on the person that's done this.

"If they could feel the anger coming from me, that would be different.

"The people that are responsible for this, whenever they look in the mirror I want Danielle's face to haunt them."

Danielle was killed early on 9 October 2004 as she walked home from a funfair.

One of her friends rushed to Mrs Platt's house moments after the shooting.

"As I peeped through the blinds I just knew instantly something was wrong from the look on her friend's face," said Mrs Platt.

'You're fine'

Within seconds she was beside her daughter on the grass verge where she had been shot.

An hour later she was at her daughter's bedside in the resuscitation room at the Queen's Medical Centre as doctors prepared to take Danielle into surgery.

It was the last time she saw her alive.

"The wound itself was so small, there was no blood, it was not messy at all, but she was just in and out of consciousness," she said.

"Based on that I knew it was more serious than what I was telling her.

"She was saying she felt like she was dying. I just kept saying 'no you're not, it's just a flesh wound, you're fine'.

"I got to see her in the resuscitation room before they took her into theatre. I spoke to her and said I loved her and would be waiting for her to come back.

"That was the last time I saw her alive."

Danielle Beccan's mother reacts to the verdicts

Two are guilty of Danielle murder
12 Oct 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Danielle mother helped by faith
10 Apr 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Dying Danielle cradled by mother
14 Oct 04 |  Nottinghamshire



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