A 12-MAN jury has begun hearing evidence on the cold-blooded murder of seven-year-old Jamaican Toni-Ann Byfield in the Old Bailey Criminal Court. A single bullet to the back killed the child on September 14, 2003.
The trial is being dubbed one of the most explosive murder trials in England, as the child is recorded as the youngest gun and drug-related victim. She was killed along with Bertram Byfield whose real name is Anthony Pinnock.
The court heard on the first day that Toni-Ann arrived in Britain in 2000 and was killed by 31-year-old Joel Smith who knew Pinnock, the man believed, before DNA evidence ruled it out after the killing, to be the child's father.
The prosecution described the child as bright and fun loving. Toni-Ann was killed after a shopping spree with Pinnock during which they purchased uniforms for her new school. The court was told that the child was excited at the thought of going to school and making new friends.
The prosecution said the accused murdered the child to eliminate her as a witness to Pinnock's murder.
- Deon P. Green