Saturday 23 September 2017

Dublin doctor breaks silence on murder of wife and three children

Tragic fire victims Bilal, 17 (left) and Jamal, 15 (right)
Tragic fire victims Bilal, 17 (left) and Jamal, 15 (right)
Forensic officers at the scene of a house fire at Wood Hill, in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester which claimed the lives of four people
The scene of a house fire at Wood Hill, in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester which claimed the lives of four people.
The scene of a house fire at Wood Hill, in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester which claimed the lives of four people. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 13, 2013. Police investigating the deaths have said they cannot rule out the blaze being linked to the murder of a man in a nearby street. See PA story FIRE Leicester. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire
Police making a search near to the scene of a house fire at Wood Hill, in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester which claimed the lives of four people
Local MP Keith Vaz meets residents near to the scene of a house fire at Wood Hill, in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester which claimed the lives of four people
Local residents near to the scene of a house fire at Wood Hill, in the Spinney Hills area of Leicester

Dr Muhammad Taufiq hwill "deepy miss" his wife, daughter and two teenage sons in Leicester as police have arrested five individuasl.

Dr Taufiq, who was working in Dublin on Thursday morning when tragedy struck his family in England, has thanked the Leicestershire police for their continued efforts into the criminal investigation surrounding the death of his wife and three children.

Leicestershire police released a statement today saying that three women, ged 19, 20 and 27, and two men aged 19 and 49 are being detained this afternoon.

"Forensic enquiries are still under way at the scene and local officers are undertaking patrols in the area," the statement added.

The neurosurgeon, who works out of Beaumont Hospital, released a brief statement today, saying that "nothing could be worse" than losing his entire family.

“What has happened has happened and nothing could be worse, but I hope that justice prevails and this should not happen to any other family,” he said.

Taufiq, who is well known in the Muslim community, spoke of his devastation, adding that he will "deeply miss my beautiful wife and three beautiful children” after the “tragic incident”.

“A real big thanks to the police in Leicestershire for their work and to the media for being patient and understanding the pain I am going through," he added.

“The local community have made me feel that even though I have lost my entire immediate family, the entire community is a family to me.”

Shehnila Taufiq, who was in her 40s, died along with her 19-year-old daughter and sons, aged 17 and 15, in the blaze at their home in Wood Hill, Leicester,  early Thursday morning.

Mrs Taufiq's neurosurgeon husband, Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, immediately returned to Leicester from Ireland, where he works.

Neighbours of the family reacted with disbelief to the idea that they could have been intentionally killed - and claimed they may not have been the intended target.

Police were called to the blaze by the fire service at 12.35am on Thursday.

The family's children were named by their local mosque as Zainab, Jamal and Bilal, and are understood to have died in their bedrooms at their terraced house.

A middle-aged man, who did not want to be named, said: "Most people feel this was meant for somebody else and they got the wrong house." 

Leicestershire Police launched a murder inquiry shortly after 5.30pm on Thursday when a man in his 20s was taken from Kent Street - half a mile away from the scene of the fire - to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where he died.

A second inquiry began when neighbours reported flames shooting out of the first floor of the Taufiq family home at 12.30am.

It is understood Mr Sattar's wife was a qualified doctor but was not working.

The family is originally from Pakistan and had a home in Ireland for at least 15 years.

The children moved to the UK with their mother about five years ago for Islamic education.

Caitlin McBride

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