Leicester house fire: Two men jailed for life for blaze that killed mother and three children

Shehnila Taufiq and her three children were killed when their home was set on fire in a 'botched' revenge attempt

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The Independent Online

Two men have been jailed for life after a mother and her three children died when their home was mistakenly set on fire in a botched revenge attack.

Tristan Richards, 22, was told he would serve a minimum of 35 years for his part in the murders of Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her daughter Zainab, 19, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15.

His accomplice Kemo Porter, 19, was given a 25 year minimum term. Both were convicted at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday after a two-month trial, during which the jury heard they had wrongly attacked the house to avenge the fatal stabbing of their friend, football coach Antoin Akpom, hours earlier.

On Tuesday, Ms Taufiq’s husband Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar said the fire had stolen "everything from me", according to the BBC. "I have lost my soul-mate, my confidante and my best friends," he said.

"I have no-one to talk to and share my feelings with. I feel sad, angry, betrayed and isolated. My loneliness is unbearable."

However, speaking outside court on Wednesday, he told reporters he was“satisfied at the sentence”, adding: “I accept everything”.

The scene of the fatal house fire in Wood Hill, Leicester

"My family is with me 24/7 spiritually and these are the main motives for me. My own belief, religion, my God and my family are with me and these are the main motives for me to continue which I have been doing for the last nine months and will continue until my last breath,” he said.

"I'm going back to Dublin tonight where I will continue working at the hospital as well as helping at the community centre."

On Monday, he was praised by police for his enduring strength and for showing the “greatest amount of dignity” throughout the trial.

Six other defendants, Shaun Carter, 24; Nathaniel Mullings, 19; Jackson Powell, 20; Aaron Webb, 20, Akeem Jeffers, 21 and 17-year-old Cairo Parker, were cleared of four counts of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.

Clockwise from top left: Cairo Parker, Akeem Jeffers, Jackson Powell, Aaron Webb, Shaun Carter, Kemo Porter, Tristan Richards, Nathaniel Mullings (PA)

Carter was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Mullings was handed 15 years detention in a young offender institution.

Webb, Powell and Jeffers were each sentenced to 12 years behind bars.

Parker, on account of his age, was given eight years detention. There were tears from the public gallery as the remaining sentences were read out.