Jury considering verdicts over house fire that killed five
Friday 26 April 2013
A jury has retired to consider its verdicts in the trial of a woman accused of starting a house fire which killed five members of the same family.
Melanie Smith, 43, is alleged to have set fire to a pushchair because she was angry that it had been left in a shared hallway.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew, Bailey, and two-year-old niece, Skye, died in the alleged arson attack at their home in Prestatyn, North Wales, on October 19.
Firefighters managed to rescue Ms Shiers' 15-month-old son, Charlie, and his father, Liam Timbrell, 23, from their first-floor flat but they later died in hospital.
Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims in Maes y Groes, Prestatyn, denies five counts of murder.
Mold Crown Court heard that she carried out the "terrible and wicked deed" because she was "drunk and angry", disillusioned with her boyfriend and very unhappy in her flat due to the untidiness of Ms Shiers.
Cross-examining Smith, Ian Murphy QC, for the prosecution, said: "I suggest to you that it was very easy for you to carry out this terrible, wicked deed of setting fire to the pushchair with a lighter."
Smith replied: "That is crazy. You are twisting things."
Mr Murphy also accused Smith of using her boyfriend, Steven Clarkson, to establish a false alibi.
He said Smith got into bed with Clarkson after setting fire to the pram so she could then pretend to be a victim.
Mr Murphy said: "It was started deliberately by you and you in effect stage-managed your exit from the property."
During the trial Smith denied the allegations and said that 21 witnesses in the case who said they had heard her making threats to burn down people's houses were lying.
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis