Courts

Tuesday 29 July 2014

'I don't hate men who killed my family,' says doctor

Emma Sword

Published 24/06/2014|02:30

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The house in Leicester where the wife and three children of Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar (inset) were killed in a blaze
The house in Leicester where the wife and three children of Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar (inset) were killed in a blaze
Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar
Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar
Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar

THE husband of a woman and three children who died in an arson attack on their home has said he has no hatred for the eight men convicted over their deaths.

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Dublin-based neurosurgeon Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar said: "You hate crime. You don't hate individual people" over the convictions for the attack on his family's home in Leicester, UK, last September.

A trial at Nottingham Crown Court heard the family died after their killers, bent on revenge, attacked the wrong house.

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

They comprised the immediate family of respected Pakistani neurosurgeon Dr Al Satter, who moved to Dublin in 1995.

Dr Al Satter (52), who is a consultant at Beaumont Hospital, divided his time between his home in Castleknock, west Dublin, and his second home in the UK where his wife and children had relocated from Ireland five years earlier in order to pursue Islamic studies there.

Two men, Kemo Porter (19) and Tristan Richards (22), were yesterday found guilty of their murders following a two-month trial.

Six other male defendants ranging in age from 17 to 21 were found not guilty of four counts of murder. However, they were found guilty of manslaughter following the trial in which they pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said the fire was "retribution" for the fatal stabbing of their friend Antoin Akpom (20) hours earlier but that the killers mistakenly attacked the wrong house.

Speaking after the verdicts, Dr Taufiq paid tribute to his family, calling them "four amazing human beings".

Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, said the eight defendants were friends of Mr Akpom and that hours after the fatal stabbing they mistakenly targeted the Taufiqs' house believing it to be the home of one of the 19-year-olds.

The prosecutor said: "They simply got the wrong house – a tragedy." The court heard the blaze was set around 12.30am on September 13, with petrol poured through the letterbox and ignited.

Mrs Taufiq and her three children were left trapped upstairs in their home as the flames took hold at the bottom of the stairs.

The judge said he would hear mitigation today and then the eight would be sentenced tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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