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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
tvCall the Midwife Christmas Special
Sport
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there