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Leicester ‘botched revenge’ arson killers jailed for life

Two men who murdered a family of four in an arson attack on the wrong house have been jailed for life.

Tristan Richards, 23, and Kemo Porter, 19, must serve minimum terms of 35 years and 25 years respectively for the death of Shehnila Taufiq and her three children in Leicester.

Six others have also been sentenced for their manslaughter.

Mrs Taufiq, 47, daughter Zainab, 19, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15 died in the blaze on 13 September 2013.

Sitting at Nottingham Crown Court the judge, Justice John Griffith Williams, described the group’s actions as “atrocious crimes” and said the “premeditated and planned attack” that resulted in the wrong house being targeted “makes the offending even more heinous”.

He said Shaun Carter, 24, Nathaniel Mullings, 19, Jackson Powell, 20, Aaron Webb, 20, Cairo Parker, 17 – and 21-year-old Akeem Jeffers from Leeds – were all influenced by Richards and Porter.

All six were convicted on Monday

The judge said Richards, of Sparkenhoe Street, Leicester, had been the “ring leader” who bought the petrol and led the defendants to the house.

He said Porter, of Browning Street, Leicester knew exactly what the consequences of his actions would be but at no point disassociated himself.

Terrible end

For the remaining defendants Judge Williams said: “Each of you was party to a premeditated plan to set fire to the house, an unlawful act which any sensible person would inevitably realise must subject someone to at least the risk of some physical harm.

“As a consequence four innocent people met a terrible end.”

Carter, of Franche Road, Leicester and Mullings, of Farringdon Street, Leicester, were sentenced to 15 years.

Powell, of Burnside Road, Leicester, Webb, of Saltersford Road, Leicester and Jeffers, of Buslingthorpe Lane, Leeds were all sentenced to 12 years.

The three men aged under 21 will be detained at a young offenders’ institution.

Parker, 17, of Wood Hill, Leicester was sentenced to be detained for eight years.

‘Carried away’
During the two-month trial at Nottingham Crown Court jurors heard the defendants had intended to target the house of another man who they believed had been involved in the stabbing of their friend Antoin Akpom.

Mr Akpom, 20, had died on the evening of 12 September after being stabbed in the back following a “confrontation”.

The court heard that in the hours after the stabbing arrangements were made for the “botched revenge attack” and Parker was recruited because he claimed to know where the man who stabbed their friend lived.

Judge Williams said that while Richards was “a calculating man”, the other men had got “carried away by their own grief” became influenced to act out of character.

The judge praised the family’s father and husband Dr Muhammad Taufiq Al Sattar, for his “remarkable dignified presence” throughout the trial.

“He told in the most moving of terms of his loss, its effect upon him and of his dedication to complete, in their memory, the family goal of setting up a community centre in Dublin,” the judge added.

“He too is a victim of what he described as a heartless, malicious act”.

Dr Sattar said he had no hatred for the men but “such criminals should not be let outside of the prison for the rest of their lives”.

Speaking outside court, he said he was satisfied with the sentences.

“My family is with me 24/7 spiritually and these are the main motives for me,” he said.

“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 he would be returning to Dublin where he works as a paediatric neurosurgeon and would be selling the family’s house in Leicester.