Europe

Tuesday 22 July 2014

I’m not seeing my house again... I don’t want to go inside’

Published 27/09/2013|11:49

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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 father of three children who were killed in a house fire along with his wife has said their funerals will not take place until a second post-mortem examination is completed.

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Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her daughter Zainab, 19, and two sons Bilal, 17, and 15-year-old Jamil, died in the blaze at their home on Wood Hill in Leicester in England on Friday September 13.

Today Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, a neurosurgeon based in Dublin, said a second post-mortem examination on the four family members' bodies had been delayed until at least October 8.

Leicestershire Police have charged an 18-year-old man with murder over the fire. Further arrests have also been made in connection with the deaths.

Dr Taufiq, who normally spent three weekends out of four with his family in Leicester, told BBC Radio 4 that he did not know when he would be able to bury the four family members.

The burials are due to take place in Ireland, where he said he will continue to live and practice his faith.

The consultant, who is currently staying with friends in Leicester, said: "I was told the earliest the pathologist can do a second post-mortem will be October 8 so it's a difficult time for me I'm sure you can imagine."

Under Islamic law, a person is usually buried no later than 24 hours after their death.

Dr Taufiq said the last two weeks had been "extremely difficult" for him, but added his faith in Islam had given him "strength".

"It was God's plan to take the life," he said.

His wife and children were studying in Leicester for an Islamic education at the time of their deaths.

"As a neurosurgeon I know we deal with life and death every day - so it was in my mind, something which is beyond your control," Dr Taufiq said.

He said it had been "very painful" to see the family home, which had been gutted by the flames.

"I saw (the house) only from a very quick glance from the distance" he said.

"(It was) Very painful. And I'm not seeing my house again and I don't want to see as well. I don't want to go inside."

Mr Taufiq said he was "delighted" that community relations had remained peaceful in Leicester since the fire.

He said his "aim" was that similar incidents should "not happen to any other family".

Kemo Porter, 18, of Browning Street, Leicester, has been charged with murder in connection with the fire. He is next due to appear at Leicester Crown Court on October 4.

A 19-year-old man was also arrested in connection with the deaths on Thursday night and remains in police custody.

A further seven men, aged 16, 18, 20, 21, 24 and two 19-year-olds, were arrested on Wednesday after warrants were executed at several properties in the Leicester area.

Six of those men remain in police custody while inquiries continue. The 18-year-old has been released on police bail pending further inquiries, Leicestershire Police said.

By Emma Sword

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