Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Thursday, 8 September 2005 17:52 UK

'Gang feud led to shooting death'

Danielle Beccan
Danielle died in hospital from gunshot wounds

A bitter gang feud between rival areas led to the death of an innocent schoolgirl, a court heard.

Danielle Beccan, 14, was fatally shot early on 9 October 2004 as she walked home from a funfair in Nottingham.

Birmingham Crown Court was told she was the innocent victim of a drive-by shooting, allegedly carried out by members of a gang from a rival area.

Mark Kelly, 20, of the Meadows, Nottingham, and Junior Andrews, 23, of no fixed address, both deny murder.

Earlier on Thursday a new jury was sworn in at the trial.

Danielle was the innocent young victim standing with a group of her friends
Peter Joyce QC, prosecutor

A friend of the murdered teenager broke down in the witness box as he described how he tried to help the dying girl.

The 17-year-old boy who gave evidence from behind a screen described how he saw sparks as four or five 5 shots were fired from the front passenger window of a gold Citroen.

The teenager said he ran for cover and after the car drove off, then went back and saw Danielle.

When asked where she was he became upset and was unable to answer.

He told the court he tried to pick up the injured girl himself, and then with another boy carried her to an alleyway to try and help her.

The court heard Danielle Beccan was shot once in the stomach and died in hospital.

Rival gangs

Prosecutor Peter Joyce QC said the shooting was carried out by members of the Waterfront Gang, based in the rival Meadows district of the city.

The men accused of carrying out the shooting targeted the teenager and her friends simply because they were from St Ann's, jurors heard.

Mr Joyce said: "For some reason, pathetic or absurd, there is a hatred between different parts of the Meadows community in Nottingham and the St Ann's.

"The reason behind this killing is that people from the Meadows went to shoot up people from St Ann's.

"Danielle was the innocent young victim standing with a group of her friends."

Mr Kelly and Mr Andrews are both from the Meadows, the jury were told, and are alleged members of the Waterfront Gang.

'W sign'

Mr Andrews has the initials WFG tattooed on his forearm, proving his allegiance to the gang, along with NG2, the postcode of the Meadows area etched on his neck, the court heard.

Mr Joyce told the jury that Mr Kelly, driving a gold Citroen Xsara car, took Mr Andrews as his front seat passenger into St Ann's shortly after midnight on 9 October to carry out the shooting.

He said CCTV footage, gunshot residue and other evidence would prove that Mr Kelly's car was the gun car, and that it was Kelly and Andrews who were responsible for Danielle's death.

Seconds after the fatal shot was fired, Mr Andrews is alleged to have held a gloved hand out of the car window and formed a W sign with it, to symbolise the gang.

The jury also heard how Danielle's mother, Paula Platt, was at her daughter's side moments after she was shot, to hear the youngster's final words, "I'm going to die".

The trial continues.

New jury chosen in Danielle trial
08 Sep 05 |  Nottinghamshire

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