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Four-page murder pull-out 'answers the questions readers are asking'

The Willesden & Brent Times has published a four-page pull-out detailing all aspects of the Toni-Ann Byfield murder.

It is the first time the weekly has ever done such a comprehensive report on a local murder case.

The murderer has now been found guilty of killing Toni-Ann and Bertram Byfield at their home in Kensal Green in September, 2003, and was given a life sentence of 40 years.

The gunman shot 41-year-old Bertram before turning the gun on the terrified girl as she tried to run away.

Reporter Lorraine King put together the supplement for this week’s Times.

It has a special report on the history of the case, how the killer was caught and convicted, reaction from police and anti-gun crime campaigners, plus a plea for help in finding the killers of seven other shooting victims.

Articles include:

  • Killer jailed for 40 years;
  • Profile of the child killer;
  • Mother weeps as life sentence is handed down;
  • How the killer was caught;
  • Hunt goes on for partner in crime;
  • Diary of Toni-Ann’s short life.

    Editor Tim Cole said: “This is a conviction which can be celebrated by the whole community. Not just because a dangerous murderer has been given a 40 year jail term, but because of the way in which the conviction came about.

    “The Operation Trident officers had little evidence from the scene of the murders and had to rely on the bravery of members of the community to stand as witnesses and repeat the things they had been told by the killer.

    “We hope that the jailing of this man will give others in the community the strength and belief to come forward in other cases.

    “There are seven unsolved Trident cases in Brent. As the only newspaper, local or national, which serves this community properly we have a duty to report on the police successes as fully as possible and also to encourage people here to help the police do their job.

    “Our calls for information in the Byfield murder case were relentless. We hope they contributed to this conviction.”

    Senior Reporter Lorraine King said: “Toni-Ann’s murder shocked and angered the community. We felt it was our duty to constantly remind our readers that her killer was still at large, and they could hold the key to his capture.

    “Operation Trident worked relentlessly to find the evil gunman and when Smith was convicted we felt a special report detailing all aspects of the case was the least we could do.”

  • See also:
    Echo praised for ‘crucial’ role in catching killer. Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or e-mail