Fire family deaths: Woman jailed

A woman who murdered five members of a family, including three young children, when she set fire to her neighbour's pushchair has been jailed for at least 30 years.

Latest ITV News reports

Prestatyn fire started after row over a pushchair

A "drunk and jealous" woman has been found guilty of murdering five members of the same family in a blaze at a flat in Prestatyn, North Wales.

Melanie Smith, 43, deliberately set fire to a pushchair because she was angry that it had been left in a shared hallway, Mold Crown Court heard.

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew, Bailey Allen, and two-year-old niece, Skye Allen, died in the arson attack at the flat on 19 October, 2012.

Firefighters managed to rescue Ms Shiers' 15-month-old son Charlie and his father Liam Timbrell, 23, from the first-floor flat but they died later in hospital.

ITV News Correspondent Debi Edward reports:

Prestatyn mother's parents 'overjoyed' with verdicts

Lee-Anna Shiers' parents, Joy and Peter Shiers, said they were "overjoyed" with the verdicts following the Prestatyn flat fire court case.

Mrs Shiers, 45, who attended every day of Melanie Smith's trial, said, "I'm sorry for her [Smith's] family but for me and my family, we are so happy that we have got justice".

"There's no reason for what happened and we're never going to get a reason because she's still saying she's not done anything", Mrs Shiers continued.

The fire damaged flat in Prestatyn, North Wales, where the family members died.
The fire damaged flat in Prestatyn, North Wales, where the family members died. Credit: Mike Hornby/PA Wire

"Anna was such a lovely, bubbly girl and Liam a very caring dad. Both of them were heroes because we know they would have done everything to rescue the children, The three kiddies loved each other, they played together all the time. They were our angels".

"She [Smith] hasn't just taken Anna, Liam and the children, she's taken our way of life, our friends, our family. They should never let her out", she continued.

Mr Shiers, 64, added, "It's been a long procedure, six months now, and we're grateful for all the help and support we have had. Nothing will bring them back but justice has been served".

Advertisement

Smith appeared to collapse on hearing guilty verdict

Melanie Smith, who has been found guilty of five counts of murder, appeared to collapse into the security guard as the first verdict was returned.

As the remaining guilty verdicts were announced by the jury foreman, 43-year-old Smith bowed her head and looked to the floor.

Melanie Smith, 43, has been found guilty of murdering five members of the same family.
Melanie Smith, 43, has been found guilty of murdering five members of the same family. Credit: North Wales Police Handout

In addition to five counts of murder, Smith was also convicted of one count of making threats of arson.

Relatives of the Prestatyn flat fire victims were heard crying in the public gallery as others shouted, "Yes".

Trial judge Mr Justice Griffith Williams told the court he wanted "time to reflect" before passing sentence.

Family killed in Prestatyn fire by 'jealous' neighbour

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, died in the blaze.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, died in the blaze. Credit: North Wales Police Handout
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, pictured with her partner Liam Timbrell, 23, who also died.
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, pictured with her partner Liam Timbrell, 23, who also died. Credit: North Wales Police Handout
Lee-Anna and Liam's son, Charlie Timbrell, who was 15 months old.
Lee-Anna and Liam's son, Charlie Timbrell, who was 15 months old. Credit: North Wales Police Handout
Lee-Anna Shiers' two-year-old niece Skye Allen.
Skye Allen, Lee-Anna Shiers' two-year-old niece. Credit: North Wales Police Handout
Bailey Allen, Lee-Anna Shiers' four-year-old nephew.
Bailey Allen, Lee-Anna Shiers' four-year-old nephew. Credit: North Wales Police Handout

'Drunk and jealous' woman guilty of family murder

Melanie Smith was found guilty of of murdering five members of the same family.

A "drunk and jealous" woman has been found guilty of murdering five members of the same family, including three young children, in a devastating blaze following a row about a pram.

Melanie Smith, 43, deliberately set fire to a pushchair because she was angry that it had been left in a shared hallway, Mold Crown Court heard.

The court was told she carried out the "terrible and wicked deed" because she was "drunk and angry", disillusioned with her boyfriend, very unhappy in her flat and jealous of the woman who lived upstairs.

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew, Bailey, and two-year-old niece, Skye, died in the arson attack at their home in Prestatyn, North Wales, on October 19 last year.

Firefighters managed to rescue Ms Shiers's 15-month-old son Charlie and his father Liam Timbrell, 23, from the first-floor flat but they died in hospital.

Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims in Maes y Groes, Prestatyn, was found guilty of all five counts of murder by a jury of seven women and five men today.

Advertisement

Load more updates