A man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing four members of the same family in a house fire in Co Fermanagh in 2018.

Daniel Sebastian Allen, aged 32, of Doon Road, Derrylin, changed his plea just as his trial at Craigavon Crown Court was about to begin today.

Denise Gossett, 45, her son Roman, 16, her daughter Sabrina, 19, and Sabrina's 15-month-old daughter Morgana were all killed in a fire on 27 February 2018, at their home in Derrylin.

Allen pleaded guilty to the murder of Roman and Sabrina Gossett, as well as Sabrina's infant daughter Morgana Quinn.

In relation to the death of Denise Gossett, he admitted manslaughter "by reason of suicide pact".

Allen, who also pleaded guilty to arson, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Denise Gossett also died in the fire

Appearing in the dock wearing a checked shirt, accompanied by officers, Allen read his pleas from a sheet of paper held by an official.

The court was told that plea was acceptable to the public prosecution service.

He did not react when the judge, Mr Justice O'Hara, delivered a life sentence for the murder of three members of the Gossett family.

The judge thanked the jury members, who had been sworn in yesterday, for their time, adding that he wanted them to be there for Allen's plea so they understood why the case would not be proceeding as planned.

A hearing will be held in September to set the minimum term Allen must serve before being considered for release.

Daniel Allen
Daniel Sebastian Allen, pictured in 2018, has been given three life sentences

Defence barrister Frank O'Donoghue said his client understood the charges against him, with prosecution barrister David McDowell saying he was satisfied with the new arraignment conditions.

Allen had previously been set to contest the charges of murder on the grounds he claimed had been involved in a suicide pact with both Denise and Sabrina Gossett, and had no part in the death of the younger two victims.

On these grounds, Allen previously pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter, and not guilty to murder and not guilty to one count of arson with intent to endanger life.

Allen has been in custody since 2018.

During a court session in early 2022, the defence team concluded that Allen's mental health assessment did not provide evidence of diminished responsibility.

Additional reporting: PA