1. ITV Report

Father jailed for life after killing two young children

Credit: West Mercia Police

A Birmingham father who smothered his two young children with a petrol-soaked cloth before trying to kill his wife has been jailed for life with a minimum of 33 years.

47-year-old Endris Mohammed killed eight-year-old Saros Endris and his sister Leanor, six, during a downstairs sleepover at their home in Birmingham last October.

A jury at the Birmingham Crown Court was told Mohammed then tried to murder his wife Penil Teklehaimanot, who was asleep, by tampering with a gas pipe and setting a fire near the front door.

He suffered burns to his head after setting the passenger side of his car alight on the night of the killings.

Eight-year-old Saros Endris and his six-year-old sister Leanor, were smothered with a petrol-soaked cloth. Credit: West Midlands Police

Mohammed, of Holland Road, Hamstead, was convicted of attempted murder and two counts of murder by jurors on Friday (17 November) after they rejected his claim of diminished responsibility.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Gilbart rejected Mohammed's claim to have planned to end his own life before the "terrible criminal enterprise" designed to kill the children and their mother.

The former factory worker bought a fuel can and three litres of petrol around 12 hours before the killings and later suffered burns to his head after setting the passenger side of his cab alight.

The judge accepted Mohammed was suffering from a depressive illness falling short of diminished responsibility, but said a withdrawal from a cash machine hours beforehand showed he had not intended to take his own life.