Prestatyn arsonist gets 30 years

Melanie Smith has been sentenced to 30 years in jail for murdering five members of a family in a flat fire in Prestatyn.

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Mother: 'Heart has been torn apart' by children's murder

Jonty Lewis, the mother of four-year-old Bailey and two-year-old Skye who were killed by Melanie Smith when she set fire to a pushchair, wrote in a statement:

People always ask me if I'm okay: I lie. In truth my heart is not just broken, it's been torn apart. How do you put in words the pain of your children being murdered. How do you stop asking yourself questions, what if.

When I wake up in the morning, that first minute is beautiful. In that 60 seconds I feel no pain, and I'm just listening for the laughter and footsteps running across the landing in the hope my bedroom door will fly open and they will come in, jump onto the bed so that I can smother them in kisses.

It is then that reality sets in. My heart is wrenched and the heavy empty feeling engulfs me. I realise that I will never hold my children's hands again, teach them to ride a bike, the 'normal' things a parent should be allowed to do.

Christmas, birthdays, nothing will ever be the same. Not only have my children been murdered but my family's future has been stolen from us, yes I have got memories, I've got pictures but I want them here. I want them back to make new memories, to take new pictures, to kiss Bailey's cheeky cheeks and paint Skye's pretty little nails.

If I'd known the final time that I kissed my babies goodbye was the last time, I would have hugged them that little bit harder. My babies were loved.

I just wish they were here for me to tell them.

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Prestatyn arson attacks: 'exceptional wickedness'

The judge who today sentenced Melanie Smith to 30 years in prison for murdering five members of a family at a flat in Prestatyn has described the attack as "exceptional wickedness'.

For those who had to hear the evidence of the 999 calls, the horror of those moments in the flat upstairs as Lee-Anna and Liam faced the awful inevitability of their imminent deaths, will be forever etched on their memories.

– Mr Justice Griffith Williams

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew, Bailey, and two-year-old niece, Skye, were trapped in their upstairs flat and died in the attack in October last year.

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

You continue to portray yourself as a victim, blinding yourself to the sufferings of the real victims in this case and failing to at least acknowledge that it was your deliberate act which started the fire.

– Mr Justice Griffith Williams

Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims in Maes y Groes was found guilty of five counts of murder by a jury at Mold Crown Court last Tuesday.

Prestatyn fire murders: 30 year minimum sentence

Melanie Smith was found guilty of murdering five members of the same family. Credit: North Wales Police

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

The 43 year-old, started the devastating blaze because she was angry the pushchair had been left in a shared hallway.

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her four-year-old nephew, Bailey, and two-year-old niece, Skye, were trapped in their upstairs flat and died in the attack in October last year.

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

Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims in Maes y Groes was found guilty of five counts of murder by a jury at Mold Crown Court last Tuesday.

Melanie Smith 'will get life sentence'

Mr Justice Griffith Williams, who presided over the trial at Mold Crown Court, told the court he wanted "time to reflect" before passing sentence, though he warned Smith her life sentence was fixed by law.

During the three-week trial, the jury heard that Smith had a "propensity" to threaten people by saying she would burn their houses down "with their children inside" and made a string of threats to Ms Shiers in the weeks before the fire.

They were told Smith had been increasingly angry with Ms Shiers, accusing her of being a noisy and untidy neighbour, and that she complained to others about Ms Shiers leaving the pushchair in the hallway.

Today Melanie Smith will be told the minimum term of her life sentence.

Sentencing of Prestatyn woman for five murders

Melanie Smith
Melanie Smith was found guilty of murdering five members of the same family Credit: North Wales Police

A "drunk and jealous" woman will be sentenced today after a jury found her guilty of murdering five members of the same family in a house in Prestatyn. Melanie Smith, 43, deliberately set fire to a pushchair because she was angry it had been left in a shared hallway.

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

Ms Shiers' 15-month-old son Charlie and his father Liam Timbrell, 23, were rescued from the first-floor flat by firefighters, but died later in hospital.

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Father watched as the house went up in flames

Steve Allen, who lost his children Bailey and Skye, and his sister Lee-Anna, in the Prestatyn fire has spoken exclusively to Daybreak about what he saw that day.

Steve Allen, father of Bailey and Skye Credit: Daybreak

He said: "Liam [the father of Mr Allen's nephew] was on the floor, quite badly burned, I went to speak to him and I got told not to touch him because of the conditions, I went towards the house and that's when I realised how serious it was with all the smoke and flames.

"There was smoke coming out the front door and obviously I was shouting things because my kids were still stuck inside with my sister.

"There was nothing nobody could do, they tried, give them credit, we stood there, we watched them and they were trying."

Prestatyn fire mum's family: 'Justice has been done'

Joy Shiers, the mother of Prestatyn fire victim Lee-Anna Shiers, has told reporters: "We're overjoyed that we've got justice."

She added: "We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us and helped us through this horrible time."

The family say they want to 'get on with normal life' following the verdict, adding: "Our angels would want us to carry on."

Neighbour Melanie Smith will be sentenced next month after being found guilty of five counts of murder.

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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".

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