Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 13:21 UK

'Last breath' heard over mobile

Magda Pniewska
Magda Pniewska was shot in the head

The sister of a nursing care assistant has told a court how she heard her being shot in the head as they spoke on a mobile phone.

Magda Pniewska, 26, died in crossfire between two gunmen in New Cross, south London, in October 2007.

She was speaking to Elzbieta Luby in Poland who told the Old Bailey she heard three or four shots before she heard her sister's "last breath".

A 17-year-old youth denies charges of murder and attempted murder.

Mrs Luby told the court her sister was carrying shopping bags which contained toys given to her for her dog by one of the elderly people at the clinic where she worked.

I asked Magda 'What's happening, what is going on, who's shooting?
Elzbieta Luby

"I heard shots," she said. "I heard several shots - three or four.

"There was a short break between the third and fourth shot, like a moment's hesitation.

"I asked Magda 'What's happening, what is going on, who's shooting?' She said 'Wait a minute, Ella.' The fourth shot came.

"I heard the last breath of Magda. I heard when she fell down, I heard when all the bags fell down."

Masked youth

Mrs Luby said she heard the mobile phone fall to the ground, a few seconds of silence and two more shots which sounded further away.

Asked if she realised that her sister had been shot and killed, she replied: "Yes".

The prosecution allege she was shot by a masked youth on the top of the stairs who was exchanging gunfire with a 17-year-old youth near a car.

The 17-year-old whose gun did not fire the fatal bullet was arrested and charged.

He has admitted possessing a prohibited weapon and has pleaded not guilty to possessing a gun to endanger life.

A second teenager was also arrested but has so far not been charged, the court has been told.


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