In the Media

Stockwell shooting trial hears mother's account of attack

PUBLISHED February 8, 2012

Sharmila Kamaleswaran says shot five-year-old Thusha looked 'as though her legs were going to give up on her'

The mother of a five-year-old girl paralysed in a gang shooting saw her daughter collapse "as though her legs were going to give up on her", a court heard.

A statement from Sharmila Kamaleswaran was read out at the Old Bailey describing the night her daughter Thusha was caught up in a gun attack.

The jury heard how Thusha was hit by gunfire as she played in an aisle at a shop in Stockwell, south London, on 29 March last year.

Kamaleswaran said she was in a room at the back of the shop chatting to relatives when she heard the sound of breaking bottles. Her three children ran into the shop and she followed, the court was told.

She said: "In order to protect my children I also ran into the shop. There I saw Thusha was about to fall down as though her legs were going to give up on her, though I was able to grab her and stop her from falling."

She said her daughter looked like she was going to faint, and asked her to pick her up. Thusha's uncle took her into a back room where the girl said she was finding it difficult to breathe. When her clothing was loosened the family realised she had been shot.

Thusha underwent emergency surgery in the street following the attack. Her condition deteriorated on the way to hospital where, the jury heard, she was "clinically dead" before being revived.

The court heard that three men chased people they thought were members of a rival gang into the shop and fired through the open door. Roshan Selvakumar, 35, who was buying groceries, was also injured in the attack. He was hit in the face by a bullet that remains lodged in his head.

Kazeem Kolawole, 19, Anthony McCalla, 19, and Nathaniel Grant, 21, deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent to Thusha and to Selvakumar. All three also deny the attempted murder of Roshaun Bryan, one of the two men who ran into the shop, and having a firearm with intent to endanger life.

The court heard a statement from Thusha's uncle Mahadavan Vikneswaran, who carried her to the back of the shop after she was shot. Vikneswaran said: "Thusha was crying and I saw her drop to the floor next to me. I quickly grabbed her, picked her up.

"My sister was crying and shouting for us to put water on her face as she was not waking up," his statement read.

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