UK & World News

  • 23 June 2014, 19:08

Leicester House Fire: Pair Guilty Of Murder

Two men have been found guilty of murdering a mother and her three children in a bungled revenge attack in Leicester.

Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her 19-year-old daughter Zainab, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15, all died when a fire engulfed their house in Wood Hill, Leicester, in the early hours of September 13 last year.

Kemo Porter, 19, and Tristan Richards, 22, were found guilty of their murders at Nottingham Crown Court.

Prosecutors had said the blaze was a "retribution process" for the fatal stabbing ofAntoinAkpom, 20, hours earlier, but that the killers attacked thewrong house.

Shaun Carter, 24, was found not guilty of four counts of murder but guilty of four counts of manslaughter.

Nathaniel Mullings, 19, Jackson Powell, 20, Aaron Webb, 20, Aaron Jeffers, 21 and 17-year-old Cairo Parker were all also cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.

As the verdict for the 17-year-old was read out there were tears from the public gallery and cries of "he's only a baby!".

During the two-month trial, the jury heard football coach Mr Akpom hadbeen stabbed in the back in a confrontation involving two 19-year-olds on September 12.

Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, said the defendants were friends of Mr Akpomand they mistakenly targeted the Taufiqs' house, in the belief it was home to one of those involved in the confrontation.

The prosecutor said: "They simply got the wrong house - a tragedy."

After the verdicts, Leicestershire Police temporary Detective Superintendent Kate Meynall said: "Emotions were running high, their actions on that night, in my opinion, were both misguided and impulsive and obviously had tragic consequences."

She said CCTV evidence was an important part of the investigation, along with forensic evidence, witness accounts and house to house evidence.

But the main focus was identifying the vehicles used by the defendants on the night of the fire.

"With the investigation into the fire it was clear to us quite early on that two vehicles were involved in the offence," she said.

"Our main inquiries were around identifying those vehicles, in turn then identifying the movements of those vehicles on the night of Thursday September 12 through to the early hours of Friday September 13, and also after the incident."

The judge, Mr Justice John Griffith Williams, said he would hear mitigation on Tuesday afternoon before sentencing on Wednesday morning.

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