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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Danielle killers' appeal rejected
Danielle Beccan
Danielle Beccan was shot as she walked home from the Goose Fair
Two gang members found guilty of murdering a Nottingham schoolgirl in a drive-by shooting have lost their appeals against their convictions.

Mark Kelly, 23, and Junior Andrews, 26, were convicted of killing Danielle Beccan, 14, in October 2005.

She died when a gang opened fire on a group of people as they returned from the city's annual Goose Fair in 2004.

Kelly's minimum term was cut from 32 to 29 years. Andrews' sentence appeal was dismissed at the Court of Appeal.

'Consideration deserved'

Lord Justice Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Flaux, said it was a "truly appalling incident" when, for "no discernible reason", shots were fired from a car - one hit Danielle in the abdomen and she died within two hours.

He said the court interfered with the trial judge's judgment about Kelly's sentence "only reluctantly".

He added: "Nevertheless, we accept that even if the responsibility of each was the same, there was a difference between Andrews and Kelly in relation to their age and gravity of prior offending."

Orlando Pownall QC had argued in a previous hearing that the trial judge "should not have acceded" to a request by the prosecution to have statements made by Andrews' former girlfriend read to the jury.

Junior Andrews and Mark Kelly
We wanted the right men caught and convicted and that is what has happened
Paula Platt
Mother

He said that without the written testimony of Natalie Gee the prosecution would have had "no case" against him and the trial judge would have been obliged to dismiss the murder charge.

Kelly's lawyer had said the trial judge failed to "adequately or fairly reflect" his defence in the summing up of the case to the jury.

During the original trial, lawyers described a culture of gangs, drugs and guns, and a long-held feud between two districts of Nottingham - the Meadows and St Ann's.

After the hearing, Danielle's mother, Paula Platt, said she and Danielle's father, Dale Beccan, were "very pleased with the result".

She said: "I have maintained from the very beginning that we didn't want innocent men locked away. We wanted the right men caught and convicted and that is what has happened.

"The judges have closed the case for us now and brought finality."




SEE ALSO
Danielle killers at appeal court
18 Jun 07 |  Nottinghamshire
Danielle killers 'set to appeal'
16 Dec 05 |  Nottinghamshire

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