Eight convicted for Leicester house fire

23/06/2014

Two Leicester men have been convicted of murder and a further six convicted of manslaughter for their part in a house fire that claimed the lives of a family of four. The incident was described by CPS Crown Advocate Sam Shallow as leaving behind 'devastating consequences'.

The group set the fire at a house on Woodhill, in retaliation for a stabbing that took place in the city the previous day. Tragically, they targeted the wrong house. As a result of their attack, Shenila, Zainab, Muhammed Bilal and Muhammed Jamil Taufiq, who had no connection to that event, lost their lives.

Ms Shallow, a Crown Advocate in the CPS East Midlands Complex Casework Unit said:

"The jury have today concluded that in the early hours of 13th September last year, these eight men, motivated out of revenge, took matters into their own hands.   The defendants decided to set fire to 56 Woodhill and the decisions they made that night have left behind devastating consequences.  The deaths of Dr Taufiqs wife and children are the reality of their actions.

"Leicestershire police, the Complex Casework Unit of the East Midlands Crown Prosecution Service and prosecution counsel worked together from the outset of this case to ensure that those responsible were brought to justice.  To that end we are grateful to all those witnesses and members of the community who have come forward to assist.

"Within all our minds however have always been the deaths of Shenila, Zainab, Muhammed Bilal and Muhammed Jamal.   Dr Taufiq has shown incredible courage throughout this trial along with an unwavering support of the police and prosecution teams.  We can only hope that this verdict brings him the peace he needs to continue with the work he and his family had planned together."

Kemo Porter and Tristan Richards were found guilty of murder by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court, following a trial that started on 22 April. The Jury has decided that Nathaniel Mullings, Shaun Carter, Jackson Powell, Aaron Webb, Akeem Jeffers and an eighth defendant who cannot be named, while present on the night, did not intend to cause anyone harm and so have convicted them of manslaughter.

All eight defendants will be sentenced on Wednesday 25 June.