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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 June 2006, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
School slashing girl found guilty
Shanni Naylor. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
The jury were shown pictures of the teenager's injuries
A schoolgirl who slashed a classmate across the face with a razor blade has been found guilty of unlawful wounding.

But the jury at Sheffield Crown Court found the 13-year-old not guilty of wounding the girl with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had denied both charges.

The court was told she inflicted the injuries on Shanni Naylor during an English lesson in 2005. The case was adjourned until Friday for sentencing.

The jury of 10 women and two men found the defendant guilty of the lesser assault charge on an 11-1 majority.

Shanni was not in court to hear the verdicts and her father Lee and grandmother Kathleen refused to comment as they left the building.

'Beaten up'

During the trial, the jury heard Shanni describe in a video-recorded police interview how she was in the classroom when the girl approached her and began slashing her across the face without warning.

She said the defendant swore at her and said "I hate you", before launching the attack, which left her face permanently scarred.

But Jeremy Baker QC, defending, said the girl had been beaten up by Shanni the day before and "chronically bullied" during her time at the school.

The girl, who is of Somalian origin, said she had been attacked by Shanni, who was 12 at the time, as more than 100 fellow pupils looked on.

'Dreadful injuries'

Her account was supported by a teacher who said she witnessed the "vicious" incident in which Shanni repeatedly punched the defendant's head so it was banging against a wall.

Prosecuting, Paul Watson QC had suggested it was "common sense" the girl was guilty of the offence.

But Mr Baker said his client admitted causing Shanni's "dreadful injuries" and added that it was "wholly, wholly wrong".

During the trial psychologist Stuart Taylor testified that in Somali culture women routinely solve disputes by scratching each other's faces with their fingernails or sticks.

But he said such behaviour usually resulted in superficial injuries.

Speaking after the hearing, Det Insp Andrew Thompson, of South Yorkshire Police said they were pleased with the decision.

"It was a very serious assault on school premises during a lesson," he said. "We feel it is a fair verdict."

More details on the case

Accused girl 'sorry for attack'
28 Jun 06 |  South Yorkshire
Schoolgirl 'slashed pupil's face'
27 Jun 06 |  South Yorkshire

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