10:01am Thursday 26th July 2012
The jury in the trial of teenage girl accused of murdering another 16-year-old with a steel Afro comb has retired to consider its verdict.
Julie Sheriff, who was originally from Sierra Leone, died on September 21 - four months after she was attacked - from a brain injury.
The 16-year-old defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murdering her outside William Hill bookmakers in Falcon Road, Battersea.
She was due to the give evidence at the Old Bailey on Monday but changed her mind at the eleventh hour.
Miss Sheriff, from Hackney, was stabbed in the left temple with the six-inch comb after the two rowed about malicious gossip involving boyfriends, the court heard.
The attack was witnessed by dozens of people as it took place just after 6pm on a Saturday evening. Earlier in the trial, prosecutor Jonathan Turner told the jury that both girls "were not strangers to violence".
The Sheriff family moved to Britain in 2006 from Sierra Leone, West Africa - where the victim’s father Raouf was a policeman - to find a better life.
A verdict is expected before the weekend.
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