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Thursday 2 October 2014

Eight men to be sentenced over fire deaths of Dublin doctor's family

Published 25/06/2014 | 06:41

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File photo dated 12/10/13 of Dr Taufiq Al Sattar (centre) praying over the coffins of his family who died in a suspect arson attack in Leicester as Kemo Porter and Tristan Richards have been found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of murdering a mother and her three children in a house fire in Leicester in the early hours of September 13 last year
Dr Taufiq Al Sattar (centre) praying over the coffins of his family who died in a suspect arson attack in Leicester as Kemo Porter and Tristan Richards have been found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of murdering a mother and her three children in a house fire in Leicester in the early hours of September 13 last year
File photo dated 12/10/13 of Dr Taufiq Al Sattar (left) praying over the coffins of his family who died in a suspect arson attack in Leicester as Kemo Porter and Tristan Richards have been found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of murdering a mother and her three children in a house fire in Leicester in the early hours of September 13 last year. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday June 23, 2014. See PA story COURTS Fire. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Dr Taufiq Al Sattar (left) praying over the coffins of his family who died in a suspect arson attack in Leicester as Kemo Porter and Tristan Richards have been found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of murdering a mother and her three children in a house fire in Leicester in the early hours of September 13 last year
Tristan Richards who has been found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of murdering a mother and her three children in a house fire in Leicester in the early hours of September 13 last year
Tristan Richards who has been found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court of murdering a mother and her three children in a house fire in Leicester in the early hours of September 13 last year

Eight men will be sentenced today after being convicted over the deaths of a mother and her three children in a botched revenge attack.

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Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her daughter 19-year-old daughter Zainab, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15, all died when their home was mistakenly set alight in what police called a "misguided and impulsive" attack last September.

The husband of Ms Taufiq and father of a their three children is Dublin-based neurosurgeon Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar who works in Beaumont Hospital.

He was in Dublin at the time of the fatal blaze.

Nottingham Crown Court heard the family died after their killers, bent on revenge, attacked the wrong house in Wood Hill, Leicester last September.

Kemo Porter, 19, and Tristan Richards, 22, were found guilty of murder on Monday by a jury following a two-month trial at the court.

Six other defendants, Shaun Carter, 24, Nathaniel Mullings, 19, Jackson Powell, 20, Aaron Webb, 20, Akeem Jeffers, 21, and 17-year-old Cairo Parker were cleared of four counts of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Prosecutors said the fire was "retribution" for the fatal stabbing of their friend Antoin Akpom, 20, hours earlier.

The court heard the blaze was set around 12.30am on September 13, with petrol poured through the letterbox and ignited.

Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, said: "They simply got the wrong house - a tragedy."

During the trial, the court heard that football coach Akpom had been stabbed in the back in a "confrontation'" involving two 19-year-olds at around 5.30pm on September 12, less than a mile away in Kent Street.

He was pronounced dead in hospital at 7pm.

Hussain Hussain, 19, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years for Mr Akpom's murder following a trial at Stafford Crown Court earlier this year with the tariff since upgraded to 22 years.

The jury at Nottingham Crown Court was told that the mother of the second 19-year-old involved in the "confrontation" lived two doors down from the arson attack on the Taufiq family home.

The court heard Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar had spoken to his family just an hour before the fire broke out.

Speaking after the verdicts on Monday, Dr Taufiq, who had sat in court throughout the trial, said: "You hate crime. You don't hate individual people."

Paying an emotional tribute to his family, Dr Taufiq called them "four amazing human beings" and said they were an "extraordinary" and "charitable" family who had dedicated their lives to "the needy and less privileged".

He said: "My beloved wife and three beautiful children I can say they were really extraordinary people. They were very charitable. They had a strong concern for the welfare of others even before their own comfort.

"They had devoted their lives to a dream to give to others, the needy, the less privileged and the misguided. Four amazing human beings.

"The ultimate goal of these four amazing people was to live and work together with a primary aim to serve community and humanity."

Temporary Detective Superintendent Kate Meynell, senior investigating officer with Leicestershire Police, said: "Emotions were running high, their actions on that night, in my opinion, were both misguided and impulsive and obviously had tragic consequences."

The judge Mr Justice John Griffith Williams lifted restrictions on naming Parker following representations from the media.

Porter, of Browning Street, Leicester; Richards, of Sparkenhoe Street, Leicester; Mullings, of Farringdon Street, Northfield, Leicester; Carter, of Franche Road, Leicester; Powell, of Burnside Road, Leicester; Webb, of Saltersford Road, Leicester; Jeffers, of Carr Mills, Buslingthorpe, Leeds and Parker, from Leicester, will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court this morning.

Press Association

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