Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Thursday, 6 October 2005 14:59 UK

Danielle death 'was not murder'

Danielle Beccan
Danielle was walking home when she was shot

Whoever killed schoolgirl Danielle Beccan had not intended to shoot her dead but was more likely to have been showing off, a court has been told.

Defence lawyer Timothy Spencer QC told Birmingham Crown Court it could not be proved she had been deliberately shot.

The teenager was hit in Nottingham as she walked home with a group of friends from a fair on 9 October last year.

Mark Kelly, of Wilford Grove, The Meadows, and Junior Andrews, 24, of no fixed address, deny murder.

Mr Spencer was addressing the jury on behalf of Mr Kelly, who has not given evidence during the trial.

It is criminal, it is dangerous but it is not murder
Timothy Spencer QC, defence lawyer

Mr Kelly is alleged to have been driving the gold Citroen Xsara from which the fatal shots were fired, but he denies any involvement.

Mr Spencer argued that to prove a case of murder against his client the prosecution must prove that the gunmen were intending to shoot dead one of the group of teenagers they aimed at that night.

He said: "The evidence in this case does not establish murder against Mark Kelly.

"At worst, it is a case of manslaughter against him."

Mr Spencer said there was evidence that the bullet that killed Danielle had ricocheted off the ground before it struck.

'Flashy car'

He said it indicated that whoever fired the gun had not intended to kill, but was simply "showing off".

"The fact that there is no reason or motive whatsoever for Danielle Beccan, or any of her group, to have been targeted suggests that this was not an 'in it together' plan at all," Mr Spencer told the jury.

"I categorise it as stupid posturing. (The gunmen) saying: 'Look at us, we're not scared of you. We've come to St Ann's in our flashy car, we're not afraid to have our windows down, we're not afraid to wave our arms around and make our gang sign'.

"Then one pulls a gun and, worse than that, fires it.

"It is criminal, it is dangerous but it is not murder and it is not the calculated joint enterprise the prosecution say this case is about."

The trial continues.

Danielle accused will not testify
05 Oct 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Danielle accused's TV news claim
28 Sep 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Defendant denies killing Danielle
27 Sep 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Danielle suspect's 'killer boast'
22 Sep 05 |  Nottinghamshire
Shot Danielle said 'I am dying'
09 Sep 05 |  Nottinghamshire
'Gang feud led to shooting death'
08 Sep 05 |  Nottinghamshire

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