London

Julie Sheriff comb murder jury retires

Julie Sheriff, from Hackney
Image caption Julie Sheriff was stabbed in the head with a comb in south-west London

The jury in the trial of teenage girl accused of murdering a 16-year-old with a steel Afro comb has retired to consider its verdict.

Julie Sheriff, who was originally from Sierra Leone, died on 21 September from the brain injury inflicted last May.

A 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murdering her in Battersea, south-west London.

The Old Bailey trial has been told the tip of the comb penetrated deep into the brain.

Julie, from Hackney, was stabbed in the left temple with the comb after the two rowed about malicious gossip involving boys, the jury has been told.

She was in a coma for several months before she died.

'High volume dispute'

The jury has been shown a replica of the black comb with a spiked metal handle.

Jonathan Turner QC, prosecuting, said a bystander told police he had seen the girl take the comb from a large brown handbag.

He allegedly saw her strike Julie's collarbone without much effect and then plunge it into her skull.

Mr Turner said: "There seems to have been a row brewing between them as a result of malicious gossip, allegations Julie was making about [the girl] and a boy or boyfriends on various telephonic sites."

He said there also appeared to have been a "territorial issue" which turned into "a high-volume dispute".

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