Two guilty of murdering Dublin-based doctor's family in Leicester house fire

Monday 23 June 2014 23.57
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Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her sons Jamal, 15, and Bilal, 17, and 19-year-old daughter Zainab died in the blaze
Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her sons Jamal, 15, and Bilal, 17, and 19-year-old daughter Zainab died in the blaze
The victims were the family of Dublin-based neurosurgeon Dr Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar
The victims were the family of Dublin-based neurosurgeon Dr Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar

Two men were found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court today of murdering a mother and her three children in a house fire in Leicester last year.

Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her sons Jamal, 15, and Bilal, 17, and 19-year-old daughter Zainab died in the blaze at their terraced house in Wood Hill, Leicester, in the early hours of 13 September 2013.

The victims, the family of Dublin-based neurosurgeon Dr Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar, died in the fire.

Kemo Porter, 19, and Tristan Richards, 22, were found guilty of their murders.

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 alleged the fire was a "retribution process" for the fatal stabbing of Antoin Akpom, 20, hours earlier, but that the killers attacked the wrong house.

During the two-month trial, the jury heard that football coach Mr Akpom had been stabbed in the back in a confrontation involving two 19-year-olds on 12 September.

Richard Latham QC, prosecuting, said the defendants were friends of Mr Akpom and that hours later 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."

As the manslaugther verdict on Parker was read out there were tears from the public gallery and cries of 'he's only a baby!'.

The judge Mr Justice John Griffith Williams lifted restrictions on naming Parker and said he would hear mitigation tomorrow afternoon before sentencing the defendants on Wednesday morning.

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

An emotional Dr Taufiq said they were an "extraordinary" and "charitable" family who 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. "

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