UK & World News

  • 25 June 2014, 13:40

Pair Jailed For Life Over Leicester Fire Deaths

Two men convicted of starting a house in fire in Leicester that killed a mother and three children have been jailed for life.

Tristan Richards, 22, and Kemo Porter, 19, were given minimum terms of 35 years and 25 years respectively after setting the house alight in a bungled revenge attack.

The pair were convicted at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday after a trial that revealed their "misguided and impulsive" arson attack was intended to avenge the fatal stabbing of one of their friends, 20-year-old Antoin Akpom.

But they mistakenly set fire to the wrong house and Shehnila Taufiq, who was in her 40s, her 19-year-old daughter Zainab and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15, all died as the blaze ripped through the house in Wood Hill in September last year.

On Monday, Shaun Carter, 24, was found not guilty of four counts of murder over the blaze, but guilty of four counts of manslaughter.

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

Carter was sentenced to 15 years, while Mullings was ordered to serve 15 years in a young offenders' institution.

Webb, Powell and Jeffers were all sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Parker was given eight years detention on account of the fact he was under 18 years of age.

When he was convicted there had been tears from the public gallery and cries of "he's only a baby!".

The trial against all eight defendants heard how they had intended to attack the house of another man they believed was involved in the death of Mr Akpom.

But they got the address wrong and mistakenly poured petrol through the letterbox of the Taufiq family before setting it alight.

The Taufiq family, originally from Pakistan, had a home in Ireland for 15 years before the children moved to the UK with their mother five years ago, to receive an Islamic education.

After their deaths, the children's father, Muhammad Taufiq al Sattar, a surgeon working in Ireland, said he would "deeply miss" his "beautiful" wife, daughter and two teenage sons.

Speaking outside court after the sentencing, Dr Taufiq said: "I'm satisfied at the sentence and I accept everything.

"My family is with me 24/7 spiritually and these are the main motives for me. My own belief, religion, my God and my family are with me and these are the main motives for me to continue which I have been doing for the last nine months and will continue until my last breath.

"I'm going back to Dublin tonight where I will continue working at the hospital as well as helping at the community centre."

Dr Taufiq said he would be selling the family home, which had been uninsured at the time of the attack.