Man admits killing a mother and two children in flat fire but denies murder

Fatoumatta Hydara with her children Naeemah Drammeh and Fatimah Drammeh Credit: PA Media

A man has admitted killing a mother and her two children in a flat fire last November but has denied their murder.

Jamie Barrow pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Fatimah Drammeh, three; and Naeemah Drammeh, one; in the blaze in Fairisle Close, Clifton, Nottingham, on November 20.

He also admitted being responsible for the death of their mother, 28-year-old Fatoumatta Hydara, who died two days later in hospital from smoke inhalation.

Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday in grey prison tracksuit bottoms, a grey T-shirt and glasses, Barrow, 31, spoke only to confirm his name and enter his pleas, supported by defence counsel, Andrew Wesley.

He also entered a not guilty plea to one count of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Barrow, of Colesbourne Road, Clifton, will return to the same court on June 12 to face trial, in a case which is expected to last three weeks.

Judge Nirmal Shant KC adjourned the case.

A sketch of Barrow from an earlier court hearing Credit: Elizabeth Cook/PA

Friday’s hearing was attended by several members of the victims’ family, who remained silent as Barrow entered his pleas.

In a previous statement, Aboubacarr Drammeh, the children’s father, said he had to identify his loved ones’ bodies in a mortuary on his 40th birthday.

He said his wife was a “very faithful person”, who was “caring” and would help “whoever she could” and he said of his children: “They were both really happy children. They loved spending time with their grandparents and got along really well as siblings.”

Barrow was arrested hours after the severe blaze in the first-floor flat and was charged with three counts of murder four days later.