Fatal Leicester arson attack targeted wrong house

Thursday 24 April 2014 09.46
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Shehnila Taufiq and her three children died in the fire last September
Shehnila Taufiq and her three children died in the fire last September
Dr Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar worked in Dublin as a neurosurgeon
Dr Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar worked in Dublin as a neurosurgeon

An innocent family died in a blaze at their home when it was mistakenly targeted in a revenge attack following the fatal stabbing of a fitness coach, a court in England has heard.

The wife and children of Dublin-based neurosurgeon Dr Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar died in the fire on 13 September last year.

Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her 19-year-old daughter Zainab, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15, were killed when the fire engulfed their terraced house in Wood Hill, Leicester.

Kemo Porter, 19, Tristan Richards, 22, Nathaniel Mullings, 19, Shaun Carter, 24, Jackson Powell, 20, Aaron Webb, 20, Aaron Jeffers, 21, and a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, each deny murdering the family.

Opening the crown's case against the eight defendants in their trial at Nottingham Crown Court today, prosecutor Richard Latham QC told the jury the fire was a "retribution process" for the fatal stabbing of their friend, Antoin Akpom, hours earlier.

Mr Latham told the jury the Taufiq family had no connection to the incident involving Mr Akpom or the eight defendants.

The court heard that Mr Akpom had been stabbed in the back in a "confrontation" involving two 19-year-olds, Hussain Hussain and Abdul Hakim, at around 5.30pm on 12 September, about 1km away in Kent Street. He was pronounced dead in hospital at 7pm.

Hussain 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 month.

The jury was told that Hakim's mother lived two doors down from the arson attack on the Taufiq family home.

Mr Latham said: "They simply got the wrong house - a tragedy."