1. ITV Report

Man jailed for killing mother and son 21 years ago

Faisal Latif Photo: Staffordshire Police

A former Stoke-on-Trent man has been sent to prison for 15 years after he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a mother and her son. Faisal Latif also pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life.

Latif was due to stand trial for murder but entered guilty pleas for manslaughter and arson with intent to endanger life, which were accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Marilyn and Nicholas Cook died following a house fire at their rented home in Travers Street, Middleport, on April 9 1992. Marilyn's partner, Stephen Hillman, survived the fire but suffered serious injuries. He has since passed away, but not as a result of the fire.

Marilyn Cook Credit: Staffordshire Police
Nicholas Cook Credit: Staffordshire Police

Latif, aged 44, was arrested in Dallas, Texas in America in January following a long-running investigation by Staffordshire Police.

He was the landlord at the property Marilyn and Nicholas Cook lived in and claimed he experienced problems with his tenants. He claimed the condition of the property deteriorated and there was ongoing problems with neighbours, anti-social behaviour and rent collection.

The aftermath of the blast at the property on Travers Street Credit: Staffordshire Police

In the early hours of April 9 1992 an explosion blew the windows out of the property. An investigation uncovered traces of accelerant in the house, resulting in the blast.

Latif flew to Pakistan and never returned to the UK until he was extradited from the USA earlier this year.

I hope today’s sentencing brings Marilyn and Nicholas’ family the comfort and justice they rightly deserve.

I would like to thank them for their patience and understanding during this protracted investigation and also the dignity they have shown throughout.

– Chief Inspector Sarah Wainwright, senior investigating officer