Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Wednesday, 12 October 2005 17:01 UK

Two convicted of Danielle murder

Junior Andrews and Mark Kelly
Junior Andrews (left) and Mark Kelly were sentenced to 32 years each

Two men convicted of gunning down a Nottingham schoolgirl in a drive-by attack have each been jailed for at least 32 years for murder.

Danielle Beccan, 14, was shot as she walked home from the Goose Fair through the St Ann's area last October.

Mark Kelly, of Wilford Grove, The Meadows, Nottingham and Junior Andrews, of no fixed address, had denied murder.

Birmingham Crown Court had heard they fired from a car at the teenager and her friends as they walked home.

Danielle fell to the ground fatally wounded as her friends tried to run to safety.

Danielle's mother Paula Platt was at the scene within minutes of her daughter being shot.

She cradled the teenager in her arms as they awaited an ambulance in an alleyway.

Danielle Beccan

Both men fled the city after the killing - Kelly to Birmingham and London and Andrews to Aberdeen.

Kelly did not give evidence, but denied the charges through his lawyer.

It took the jury of eight men and four women 16 hours to decide the pair carried out the killing as part of an inner-city gang feud.

Both men were convicted by majority verdicts of 10-2 and given life sentences.

Andrews was born in Northampton, and raised in St Ann's, Nottingham before moving to The Meadows area of the city.

Trial judge Mr Justice Butterfield said: "You robbed a bright young girl of her life and blighted forever the lives of her family and friends.

"This was a terrible killing. You armed yourselves with a handgun and set out cruising around St Ann's looking for likely victims. "It was what you told (a witness in the case) you wanted to do.

"Your pathological and illogical hatred of everyone from St Ann's was so intense you did indeed want to kill."

Mrs Platt said after the verdicts: "The last year has been absolute hell.

It's going to be hard without Danielle, but I know we will be OK
Paula Platt, Danielle's mother

"We have been through so much pain and anguish and today we have got a verdict which obviously we are pleased with.

"But at the end of the day we are leaving here without Danielle."

She went on to pay tribute to Nottinghamshire Police and people in Nottingham for their efforts and support.

"Now perhaps we can move on with the rest of our lives," she said.

"It's going to be hard without Danielle, but I know we will be OK."

Det Supt Kevin Flint, who led the investigation, said the case had been hampered by fear and intimidation because of the gang element.

He added: "Inquiries will continue to trace other people who were in the vehicle from which the shots were fired at Danielle."

Dona Parry Jones, of the Crown Prosecution Service, labelled it a "cowardly and despicable" crime.



video and audio news
Danielle Beccan's mother reacts to the trial result



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