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.

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
newsFloyd 'Creeky' Creekmore still performed regularly to raise money for local hospitals
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?