Jury considers fire death verdict

The home of Melissa Crook which was subject to an arson attack Photo: PA

Jurors have retired for a third day to consider their verdicts in the trial of three people, including two from Coventry, accused of murdering three generations of the same family in an arson attack attheir home.

It's alleged that Danai Muhammadi, from Coventry was the "principal figure" behind the arson attack which killed his estranged wife Melissa Crook and their 15-month-old son Noah in Kent last September.

Mark Crook, the father of Melissa Crook was left critically ill with severe burns in hospital following the fire. He died six days later.

The fire happened after petrol was squirted through the letterbox ofthe family's home using a garden spray container.

Jurors were told flames cut off any escape route for the family asleep upstairs.

The Court heard Muhammadi's actions were borne out "of a mixture of spite, anger and resentment" as he faced divorce from Mrs Crook.

Muhammadi told the court he was blameless. He admitted being in Kenton the evening of the fire but only to meet some mystery men after receiving an anonymous letter threatening his son with kidnap and the burning down of the family home or car unless a £5,000 demand was met.

Prosecutor Mark Dennis QC said Muhammadi was "encouraged and goaded" by his new girlfriend, Emma Smith, also from Coventry.

It's also alleged Muhammadi offered to pay his friend, Farhad Mahmud to help start the fire.All three deny three counts of murder, and two counts of attempted murder in relation to Mrs Crook's mother Amanda Crook and her older brother Bohdan Crook who escaped the burning house.