A gunman confessed to murdering schoolgirl Toni-Ann Byfield after telling a friend killing children was 'not that bad', a court heard yesterday.
Joel Smith allegedly boasted to Curtis Brument that police investigating the murders of the seven-year-old and her father Bertram Byfield, 41 were looking at the 'wrong motive'.
When asked how he knew that, Smith allegedly said: 'I know because I f***ing did it.'
Toni-Ann, who was at the time in the care of Birmingham Social Services, and her father were gunned down in a northwest London bedsit, nearly three years ago.
Giving evidence yesterday Mr Brument told the jury how Smith made the confession in a cafe in Picton Road, Liverpool.
He said: 'I had been reading in the paper about a murder where a young child had been killed.
"I can't remember much about it but it was in the Liverpool Echo so it must have been local.
"I said that I thought it was sick and out of order. I showed him the article.
"He seemed to think it was not that bad. We got in to an argument about it. I was saying that it was bad and he was saying that it wasn't.
"He asked if I had heard of the murder of another little girl. He said she had been shot and had died. I told him that I remembered it.
"He told me the police had got the wrong motive. He said they thought it was drug related, between Jamaicans. But he said he knew the real reason.
"I asked how he knew that and he went on to say 'I know because I did it.' We were outside the cafe at that point. His exact words were 'I know because I f***ing did it.'"
Mr Brument had originally met Smith in a gym in a Liverpool in April 2005 where he claimed to be involved in Class A drugs, the court heard.
He allegedly told Mr Brument he was on the run from London because there were 'people after him.'
Mr Brument said: "He said he was having a few problems with dealers. He said people were confronting him saying he was on their patch.
"He said he was on the run because he had done a job there and some people were after him in London.
"He said it was a drug deal that went wrong."
Mr Brument also said he saw Smith with a gun in the waistband of his trousers.
"It was a 38 silver revolver," he said.
Mr Brument told the court how he began to see less of Smith after he admitted killing Toni-Ann and Mr Byfield.
He said: "The more I got to know him the more I knew he was bad news so I started to distance myself."
Mr Brument, who gave evidence from behind a screen, told an ex-girlfriend about the cafe conversation and she phoned Crimestoppers after hearing an appeal.
The court has heard how many former friends and acquaintances came forward to identify Smith as the gunman after being appalled by the slaying.
The court has heard Toni-Ann was shot to 'eliminate her as a witness' to the murder of Mr Byfield.
Smith, of no fixed address, denies two counts of murder.
The trial continues.