Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Leicester shop explosion: three men sentenced to life

Hawkar Hassan, Arkan Ali and Aram Kurd were found guilty of murder and fraud Credit: Leicestershire Police

Three men found guilty of murdering five people in a huge shop explosion in Leicester have been sentenced to life in prison.

Arkan Ali and Aram Kurd have been jailed for a minimum of 38 years. Hawkar Hassan will serve a minimum of 33 years.

The men were involved in a plot to douse a Polish supermarket on Hinckley road in "many, many litres of petrol" on the evening of Sunday February 25 in the hope of getting a £300,000 insurance payout.

Kurd, of Hillary Place, Braunstone, Leicester, Ali, of Drake Close, Oldham, and Hassan, of Eld Road, Coventry were also found guilty of conspiring together to commit insurance fraud.

The scene in Hinckley Road, Leicester after the explosion Credit: PA

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Holgate told Kurd, Ali and Hassan: "I agree with the prosecution that it is plain beyond doubt that Kurd and Ali were both centrally involved in the planning of these crimes.

"It is plain from the way they both behaved in court and outside that they are highly manipulative and cunning individuals."

The explosion destroyed the entire building, including a two storey flat above, which claimed the lives of residents, Mary Ragoobeer, 46, and her two sons, Sean, 17, and Shane, 18 - along with Shane's girlfriend, Leah Beth Reek, 18.

Brothers Sean Rajoobeer, 17, (left) Shane Ragoobeer, 18, and their mother Mary, who were victims of the Hinckley Road explosion in Leicester Credit: Leicestershire Police/PA

One of the Ragoobeer family, Scotty Ragoobeer managed to survive which the prosecution described as a "miracle".

Jose Ragoobeer, Mary's husband and father to Sean and Shane attended court every day.

He said the killers showed no emotion.

Shane and Leah had arrived at the flat just minutes before the blast and she had just sent her mother a text to say she had arrived safely.

Leah Beth Reek also died Credit: Loros Hospice

Her parents said they will never be able to forgive the men for taking their daughter 'who lit up the room with her smile'.

Our reporter Rajiv Popat was in court for the sentencing.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Shopkeeper Viktorija Ijevleva also died. The court heard that Ijevleva was involved in the conspiracy to commit insurance fraud but was left to die ‘because she knew too much’.

The court heard Viktorija Ijevleva was left to die 'as she knew too much.' Credit: BPM Media

The men were sentenced today (Friday 18 January) at Leicester Crown Court.

Shopkeeper who lied to ITV News convicted of Leicester blast in bid for £300,000 pay-out