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.

Neighbour guilty of murdering five in Prestatyn fire

Melanie Smith denied five counts of murder, and one charge of making threats to cause harm by fire during her trial

A woman has been found guilty of murdering five members of a family in a flat fire in Prestatyn.

During her trial at Mold Crown Court, Melanie Smith, 43, was said to have been jealous of her upstairs neighbours, and angry at them keeping their baby's pram in the hallway they shared.

The prosecution claimed she deliberately set fire to the pram, starting a blaze which ripped through the building and trapped them, last October.

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her partner Liam Timbrell, 23, their 15-month-old son Charlie Timbrell, and Lee-Anna's nephew Bailey Allen, four, and niece Skye Allen, two, were all killed.

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Prestatyn fire jury retires to consider verdict

The jury in the trial of Melanie Smith, accused of the murder of five members of the same family in a fire in Prestatyn, has retired to consider its verdict.

She denies five counts of murder and one charge of making threats to cause harm by fire.

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her partner Charlie Timbrell, 23, their 15-month-old son Charlie, and her nephew Bailey Allen, 4, and niece Skye Allen, 2, died in the blaze last October.

Murder trial jury told to put emotion to one side

A jury at the trial of a Prestatyn woman, accused of deliberately starting a fire which killed five members of a family, has been told to set aside all emotion and to consider the evidence against her.

The judge at Mold Crown Court, Mr Justice John Griffith-Williams, is summing up at the end of the three-week trial.

"You must consider it objectively and dispassionately and above all, apply common sense", he told the jury.

Melanie Smith, 43, denies five counts of murder and one charge of making threats to cause harm by fire, and the trial continues.

Lee-Anna Shiers, her partner Charlie Timbrell, their 15-month-old son Charlie, and her nephew Bailey Allen, 4, and niece Skye Allen, 2, died in the blaze last October.

Closing speeches at murder trial

The prosecution and the defence have made their closing speeches at the trial of Melanie Smith for the murder of five members of a family in a flat fire in Prestatyn in October.

Prosecuting barrister Ian Murphy QC said Miss Smith had both the motive, and the opportunity, to start the fire.

He told the jury there had been another "flare up of anger" on the day before the fire and on the day itself, and she had taken her opportunity "with deadly intent."

Defending barrister Stephen Riordan QC said there was no direct evidence before the court to show how the fire started.

He said a number of prosecution witnesses had turned "gossip and tittle tattle into their own version of events", and that Miss Smith obviously loved children and young people.

She denies five counts of murder and one charge of making threats to cause harm by fire, and the trial continues.

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Melanie Smith made serious threats, court told

The prosecution put it to Melanie Smith that it would have been the easiest thing in the world for her to set the pushchair outside her flat on fire, before returning to bed.

Ian Murphy QC alleged that Miss Smith was beginning to make serious threats towards her neighbours by mid August last year.

He said the defendant "spoke nastily" to Lee-Anna Shiers about her music being played too loud.

Accused of starting the fire, she replied: "I never ever did it, you'd have to be pretty sick and evil to do a thing like that."

Melanie Smith denies murdering five members of a family, and one charge of making threats to cause harm by fire, and the trial continues.

Prosecution: Accused 'blamed' neighbour for problems

Melanie Smith denies five charges of murder and one of making threats to cause harm by fire. Credit: ITV News

The cross-examination of Melanie Smith's evidence has begun at Mold Crown Court.

Ian Murphy QC, prosecuting, said the defendant was "unhappy" in her flat and "many things were troubling" her on the night of the fire.

"The reason you were unhappy in that flat wasn't the flat itself but the conduct of Lee-Anna Shiers," said Mr Murphy. He said it is alleged the defendant complained to her landlord that Miss Shiers was "dirty" and "scruffy" on the day she died.

The jury has heard that, at the time of the fire, Jay Liptrot, the property owner, had given Miss Smith notice to evict the flat in two days' time. "I think you blamed Lee-Anna Shiers for the predicament you found yourself in. You were very soon going to be homeless," said Mr Murphy.

When asked by her counsel if she had set her neighbour's pushchair on fire, the 43-year-old said she had not. Stephen Riorden QC, defending, asked her: "In all your years have you ever set fire to something maliciously?" The defendant answered that she never had.

Upon being arrested on suspicion of murder the day after the fire, Miss Smith said: "I couldn't believe it. I was just mortified. I was absolutely devastated. I didn't know what was going on."

Five members of the same family died in the fire in Prestatyn in October.

The case continues.

Murder blaze accused: 'I'm not an arsonist'

The mother accused of starting a fire that killed five people in Prestatyn says she wouldn't have it in her, and would never have wished harm on her neighbour's baby boy.

Melanie Smith is charged with the murder of Lee-Anna Shiers and Liam Timbrell, who lived above her, and three children.

Smith took the stand this afternoon to deny killing them by deliberately setting their flat on fire.

The defendant started crying in the witness box when she described the fire, saying she was "hysterical" and worried about the safety of her boyfriend, and others in the burning property.

During her evidence she denied being drunk on the night of the fire, and denies all charges. The court heard when interviewed by police she told them:

I am not an arsonist and I am definitely not a murderer. I definitely did not start the fire in the flat. Give me a lie detector test. I will pass everything.

– Melanie Smith

Fire murder accused told police she had made threats

Mold Crown Court has heard police interview transcripts with the woman accused of starting a fire in Prestatyn which killed five members of a family in which she admitted she had threatened to "get" her neighbour Lee-Anna Shiers on several occasions.

Melanie Smith is accused of deliberately starting a fire in the property, killing Lee-Anna Shiers, her partner Liam Timbrell, their 15-month-old son Charlie, and Lee-Anna's nephew and niece, Bailey Allen, aged four, and Skye Allen, aged two.

The jury heard Melanie Smith told police she had woken the night of the fire when she saw black smoke coming into her bedroom.

"I panicked," she told police. She said she escaped her own flat through her bedroom window and screamed to her boyfriend to get out as well, the court heard.

When police put an accusation by Liam Timbrell that she started the fire, she said: "God love him, but how do we know it was started on purpose? I don't know why he said it and it's upsetting to hear it...I wouldn't wish that on my worse enemy. I got kids of my own."

When questioned about her relationship with her neighbour Lee-Anna Shiers, Melanie Smith told police they had "not got on" all the time, but that they'd "patched things up" between the pair recently.

She denies five counts of murder and the case continues.

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