'Drunk and jealous' woman found guilty of family fire murders


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The Independent Online

A “drunk and jealous” woman has been found guilty of murdering five members of the same family, including three young children, in a blaze following a row about a pram.

Melanie Smith, 43, deliberately set fire to a pushchair because she was angry that it had been left in a shared hallway, Mold Crown Court heard. She carried out the “terrible and wicked deed” because she was “drunk and angry,” disillusioned with her boyfriend, very unhappy in her flat and jealous of the woman who lived upstairs, jurors were told.

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew, Bailey, and two-year-old niece, Skye, died in the arson attack at their home in Prestatyn, North Wales, on 19 October last year.

Firefighters managed to rescue Ms Shiers’s 15-month-old son Charlie and his father Liam Timbrell, 23, but they died in hospital. Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims in Prestatyn, was found guilty of all five counts of murder by a jury of seven women and five men.