A seven-year-old girl was gunned down to eliminate her as a witness because she saw the man who killed her father, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.
Toni-Ann Byfield, who was in the care of Birmingham Social Services, was shot in the back as she apparently tried to run from the room where seconds earlier Bertram Byfield was gunned down.
Joel Smith thought he had committed the perfect crime by leaving no witnesses and no clues, it was alleged.
But he was captured two years later because his friends and family were so appalled by the crime, prosecutor Richard Horwell said.
Smith (32) of no fixed address, denies murdering Toni-Ann and Bertram (Tony) Byfield, 41, in September, 2003, at Mr Byfield's home in Kensal Green, north-west
London. Father and daughter had shopped for a school uniform for Toni-Ann, known as TT, who was due to start a new school in two days.
Mr Byfield, a drug dealer, had been shot once before and was vulnerable to robbery, said Mr Horwell.
Smith, a self-confessed gunman and robber of drug dealers, struck just after midnight, he said.
"He must have had the intention of either shooting Mr Byfield or robbing him and shot him during the course of the robbery," said Mr Horwell.
"The only sensible inference is that Toni-Ann was shot to eliminate her as a witness."
A woman staying on the first floor heard Toni-Ann scream and the sound of a disturbance.
When police arrived "they were met by the awful consequence of crime. Father and daughter were dead.
"She was near to the doorway of the room. He was further into the room - his body was on top of, and had been entangled with, a bicycle."
Mr Byfield had been shot twice. Another bullet had missed.
Toni-Ann had been shot with the last bullet. It had been fired from inside the room towards the door.
Smith fled to Liverpool where he was arrested while in prison for other offences in October last year after calls were made to police.
Mr Horwell told the jury: "As far as this defendant was concerned, it had been as near to the perfect crime as possible. There had been no witnesses, he had been able to escape from the scene without incident, there were no CCTV cameras to capture him entering or leaving.
"He must have been confident that he had left behind no scientifically detectable trace of his presence.
"He had got away from the scene and would have got away from the crime but for one fact.
"These murders were in no sense ordinary.
"These crimes had shocked the nation.
"We suggest the notoriety was such that the normal barriers which exist between some individuals and the police had collapsed.
"Some individuals came forward to assist that otherwise would not have done so.
"The cause of the notoriety was the young age of one of the victims.
"She had been shot in the back by her father's murderer and she was seven years of age - a terrible loss of a young life.
"It was this element of this tragedy that led - compelled - previous friends or acquaintances of this defendant to eventually come forward and to identify him as the gunman."
Mr Horwell said it was because of what Smith had allegedly told others that they were able to pass it on to police.
"No human being, no matter how cold or calculating, can shoot a seven year old through the back and not feel some remorse after the event.
"It is the combination of guilt, a loose tongue and a misplaced trust in others that has placed this defendant in the dock," he said.
Toni-Ann had been born in Jamaica and had lived part of her life with Mr Byfield's ex-wife before arriving in England in 2000.
After her death, DNA tests showed Mr Byfield was not her natural father, but that was a fact neither of them were aware of.
The trial continues.