Family of four died as part of suspected botched revenge attack over the murder of Leicester sports teacher Antoin Akpom, court told


Crime Correspondent

A family of four died inside their burning home after a suspected botched revenge attack hours after the murder of a young fitness instructor in an unrelated turf feud, a court has heard.

Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her teenage sons Jamal and Bilal and daughter Zainab, 19, died after their home in Leicester was targeted for an arson attack in what prosecutors said could have been a case of mistaken identity following the murder five-and-a-half hours earlier. The Taufiq family had no connection with the earlier incident.

The family lived just two doors from the mother of a teenager accused of murdering Antoin Akpom, 20, after the pair had been involved in a year-long but unspecified dispute. Stafford Crown Court heard that the pair was involved in a heated confrontation in the street before Mr Akpom returned with nine other men from his local gym.

CCTV cameras caught the moments before and after Mr Akpom fought with Mr Hakim and his friend, Hussain Hussain, but missed the vital 15 seconds when the instructor was knifed fatally in the back and suffered a punctured lung.

The two men fled the scene and travelled to London in a taxi on the night of the attack but Mr Hakim was captured at Kings Cross Station 24 hours later, the court heard.

Mr Hakim, who told officers that he sometimes carried a knife for his own protection, said in a police interview was travelling back to Leicester because he had “heard about the fire on my street,” the court was told.

“At 12.30am that night, five-and-a-half hours after Akpom had died, there was an arson attack outside the front door of a family who lived in Leicester but two doors away from Hakim mother's home,” said Richard Latham QC, counsel for the prosecution.

“The fire caused the deaths of the four occupants of that home. The tragic case is that the occupants had nothing to do with the [earlier] incident.

“If it had anything to do with the stabbing, they got the wrong house. It was a ghastly, ghastly event,” said Mr Latham.

Mr Latham said those suspected of committing the arson attack would go on trial in a few weeks at another court.

Mr Hakim and Mr Hussain have both been charged for murder under the law of joint of enterprise even though prosecutors say that they believe that Mr Hussain inflicted the fatal blow.

In interviews with police, both men accepted that they were at the scene of the fight but blamed each other for the attack.

Mr Hussain said in his statement that his co-defendant had told him that he had stabbed the victim because he was scared of getting hurt. Mr Hussain told police that Mr Akpom had been unhappy because Mr Hakim was “walking in his area”.

But Mr Hakim said he never saw a knife during the confrontation and told police where they could find Mr Hussain's top that he discarded as they fled the scene. Mr Latham told the court that the pair travelled together to London but split up the following day.

Mr Hussain took a taxi to Potters Bar where he collected a brown packet containing £3-4,000, the court heard. He told the driver that he planned go abroad for a couple of months until the heat died down because the police were after him, the jury of eight men and four women were told.

The driver took him to Stansted Airport where he tried to buy an EasyJet ticket but did not have any travel documents. He was told he could fly to Scotland but did not like the idea, the court heard, and instead took a £200 taxi journey to Cardiff where he was arrested more than two weeks after Mr Akpom's killing.

The two men, who are separated in the dock by a security officer, deny murder.

The case continues.

John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing

Other places that have held independence referendums
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's most starring part

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week