Life sentence for Prestatyn fire murderer

08/05/2013

A woman who started a fire which led to the deaths of five members of the same family at a flat in Prestatyn has been convicted of murder and given a life sentence.

During the trial at Mold Crown Court, the court heard that Melanie Smith set fire to a pushchair in a communal hallway at the property. 

Speaking after the sentencing Karen Dixon, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, Wales, said:

"Melanie Smith has today been sentenced for starting a devastating fire which had an immensely distressing outcome. She did so knowing that a family with children lived in the flat upstairs and with no regard for the consequences.

"At no stage has she has chosen to take any responsibility for the five lives tragically lost as a result of her actions. Today's sentencing has at least ensured that she has had to face up to that responsibility in a criminal court.

"Melanie Smith's conviction and sentence is a direct result of swift and decisive investigative work from North Wales Police and specialist fire investigators and I would like to thank them for their professionalism. I would also like to thank the very many people who have supported the prosecution of this case, either through providing statements or information to the police, or by giving evidence directly in court.

"Whilst today marks the end of the criminal justice process we are acutely aware that, for the family and friends of those lost, their sense of suffering and loss remains. They continue to have to deal with the consequences of Melanie Smith's actions and our thoughts are with them."