A drug dealer accused of gunning down a seven-year-old girl after she allegedly witnessed him shooting her father told an Old Bailey court yesterday that he had not murdered either of them.
Joel Smith's counsel, Paul Lewis QC, asked: "You are charged with the murder of Tony Byfield and his daughter. Did you murder them?"
Smith replied: "No I did not."
He said he had met Byfield at the 2003 Notting Hill Carnival the month before Toni-Ann and Bertram (Tony) Byfield were gunned down. He had bought £10 worth of cannabis from him. He had only known him as "Blacka" at the time.
Smith said had never seen him before. "Until that day he was a stranger."
Smith was born in Lambeth, south London, but had lived much of his early life next door to the home where Byfield was living when he died.
He told the court he had two boys and two girls of his own by two different mothers and had worked in the security, demolition and construction industries.
But in 2003 he was not working. "I was selling," he told the court as he started giving evidence in his defence.
Smith said he dealt in crack cocaine both in London and
Liverpool, where members of his family had lived.
When the Byfields died he did not have a fixed address in London, but was staying with a friend.
Smith (32) of no fixed address, denies murdering Toni-Ann and Bertram (Tony) Byfield, 41, in September 2003. The trial continues.