Footage Of Shooting That Paralysed Five-Year-Old Girl In Stockwell Played To Jury
A mother whose five-year-old daughter was paralysed in an alleged gang-related shooting broke down in tears today as jurors were shown dramatic CCTV footage of the attack.
Sharmila Kamaleswaran cried in court as clips of her little girl playing and then moments later lying slumped on the floor were shown to an Old Bailey jury.
Her daughter Thusha, then aged five, was hit by a bullet at Stockwell Food and Wine, south London, in March last year. She survived but was left paralysed.
A shopper, Roshan Selvakumar, 35, was also hit and still has bullet fragments lodged in his head.
Continuing the prosecution opening today, Edward Brown QC warned the jury that they may find the CCTV footage from inside the shop disturbing.
He said they should view the film clips with a "clinical eye".
Judge Martin Stephens QC added: "To see a child of this age falling to the ground with the consequences that you know is bound to be disturbing in one sense.
"If I may say so, I echo Mr Brown's words to you - that sitting as jurors you are judges, you must be perfectly objective, as I'm sure you will be."
They were first shown Selvakumar standing near the door of the shop, suddenly collapsing on to shelving behind him and blood pouring from his head.
He then retreated to the back of the shop, still bleeding on to the floor.
Thusha was shown playing in an aisle before she was surrounded by adults who were in the shop.
As they retreated away from the shooting, the five-year-old could be seen slumped on the floor next to shelving, before she was picked up and rushed to the back of the shop.
Kazeem Kolawole, 19, Anthony McCalla, 19, and Nathaniel Grant, 21, all deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Thusha and Selvakumar.
They are also accused of the attempted murder of another man, Roshaun Bryan, and possession of a firearm with intent.
The jury was also shown a photograph of the cardigan that Thusha was wearing that day, bloodstained and with bullet damage.
She was hit by the second shot fired, and the bullet passed right through her body. Selvakumar was hit by the first shot, fired seven seconds earlier.
The court heard that there were shouts of "They're coming, they're coming" as the three attackers approached the shop.
They were chasing Bryan, who ran into the shop in a bid to escape, it is claimed.
Jurors were told that Selvakumar felt a "crunching sensation" in his head but did not at first realise he had been shot.
Brown said: "He remembers trying to shut the door on the gunman and then felt a blow to his face, and a crunching sensation inside his head.
"He didn't know he had been hit by a bullet. He thought perhaps it was a bottle."
The scene inside the shop was "frantic", with Selvakumar's blood dripping on the floor as he retreated and Thusha being picked up and taken to the back, Brown said.
She was described as having "a blank or bewildered" look on her face as medics worked on her, and her breathing was laboured.
Her heart stopped in the shop and surgery had to be performed at the scene to save her. She went into cardiac arrest again in hospital, and again surgery saved her life.
It later emerged that the bullet had passed through her chest and through the seventh vertebra of her spine, leaving her permanently in a wheelchair.
Brown told the jury that the defendants were looking for an alleged rival gang member on the day of the shooting.
It is claimed that the three men were linked to the GAS or OC gang, based in Brixton.
Brown said GAS stands for Guns and Shanks or Grinds and Stacks, while OC is One Chance or Organised Criminals.
This group had "an ongoing and violent tit-for-tat dispute" with the ABM gang, based in Stockwell.
Brown told the court: "The reality from the facts themselves is that this shooting had all the hallmarks of a gang shooting. The three, the trio, plainly targeting certainly one of those walking near Stockwell Road, Roshaun Bryan, that young man.
"There can have been no other reason but that they thought he was a rival gang member. The trio had travelled prepared and into enemy territory and, of course, were prepared to use that loaded gun in what was another depressing chapter in an increasingly violent series of attacks."
The trial was adjourned until tomorrow.