BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
Youth admits killing sister, 12
Kasha Peniston (Pic courtesy of GMP)
Kasha Peniston admitted killing his 12-year-old sister
A teenager has admitted the manslaughter of his 12-year-old sister who was shot in the head at their family home in Greater Manchester.

Kasha Peniston, 17, admitted accidentally killing Kamilah Peniston, in a hearing at Manchester Crown Court.

Kamilah was shot at their Gorton home in April as her brother played with the gun. She died in hospital the next day.

The gun was illegally owned by their mother Natasha who had buried the .38 snub-nosed revolver in the garden.

Peniston was initially charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the alternative count of manslaughter.

'Terrible tragedy'

However, he did not intend any ill will towards his sister or to fire the powerful handgun, it was simply "a terrible tragedy and terrible accident", Mr Justice Holland told the court.

The youngsters' mother was away in London attending a funeral when the tragedy happened but the court was told that she had ordered her son not to touch the firearm.

Kamilah Peniston
Kamilah Peniston was described as a "natural born entertainer"

The court heard that the teenager got hold of the gun and was playing with it in his pocket when he was in the living room with Kamilah.

It went off and a bullet hit Kamilah in the head as she was lying on the sofa at their home in Wembley Road.

She was taken to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, but died with her family by her bed.

Their 33-year-old mother has previously pleaded guilty to possession of the gun and possession of ammunition.

Paul Reid QC, prosecuting, told the court: "We consider it appropriate in the circumstances to accept the plea", and said it had been submitted on the basis of "gross negligence".

Family 'destroyed'

The sentencing of Peniston and his mother was adjourned.

The boy could not be identified initially for legal reasons but a challenge by the media overturned the ruling.

Outside court Supt John O'Hare from Greater Manchester Police said: "This was a tragic incident that has destroyed a family.

Natasha Peniston (Pic courtesy of GMP)
The youngsters' mother was at a funeral in London

"It shows the devastating impact that guns can have on our community - these weapons are not toys and should not be treated as such."

Kamilah was described as a "model pupil" by her headmaster at St Thomas Aquinas school in Manchester.

The extent of her popularity was shown when her funeral cortege stopped at the school to allow pupils to pay their respects.

Following her death, her family released a statement paying tribute to their "princess" whom they described as a "natural-born entertainer" and "an inspiration".

"We want to express what a painful and difficult time we are facing coming to terms with the premature death of our beloved Kamilah," it read.

"Your wishes of being an organ donor have been fulfilled. Even in death you chose to help others."

Kasha Peniston pleaded guilty to his sister's manslaughter

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific