Two men on trial after house fire killed mother and son in Eastbourne

Two men have gone on trial accused of the murder of a mother and son in a fire at their home in Sussex. They deny the charges.

Two men have gone on trial accused of the murder of a mother and son in a fire at their home in Sussex. Gina Ingles and her four year old son Milo were killed in the blaze in Eastbourne three years ago.  

The prosecution claims that Andrew Milne and Jake Barnard - who deny the charges against them - torched the house because Gina's partner, Toby Jarrett, owed money for drugs. He escaped the fire but was seriously injured.


The family were trapped upstairs when fire ripped through their home at Croxden Way in Eastbourne in July 2018.  Credit: ITV News Meridian

Gina Ingles was 34-years-old when she died while her son Milo Ingles-Bailey was just four years old. They were trapped upstairs when fire ripped through their home at Croxden Way in Eastbourne in the early hours of July 10 2018. 

Gina's partner Toby Jarrett survived the blaze but was badly burned and seriously injured.  Today (15/04) he recalled that night.

Toby Jarrett told the court how he woke to find the bedroom full of black smoke. He roused Gina who fetched Milo. He opened the bedroom window and an escape route for them, but he slipped and fell from the windowsill. He screamed for Gina but there was no response.

The jury heard that Mr Jarrett owed £400 for cocaine he'd bought. The prosecution claim Andrew Milne and Jake Barnard started the fire because of that debt, and to send a message to the wider drug community not to mess with this drugs line.

The court heard it was two days before the bodies of Gina Ingles and Milo could be recovered, along with a dog they'd been looking after for a friend. 

Toby Jarrett told the court how he woke to find the bedroom full of black smoke. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A detailed forensic examination followed.

The court heard that firefighters noticed a fuel can and cigarette lighter by the front door. Investigators concluded the petrol and been poured through the letter box and ignited.

The prosecution claim that Andrew Milne's DNA was found on the fuel can and Jake Barnard's on the lighter.

Andrew Milne and Jake Barnard deny murder and attempted murder. 

A third defendant John Tabakis denies perverting the course of justice by taking a car involved out of the country. 

The trial is expected to last up to eight weeks.