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Fire family deaths: Woman jailed

A woman who murdered five members of a family, including three young children, when she set fire to her neighbour's pushchair has been jailed for at least 30 years.

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Mother: 'Heart has been torn apart' by children's murder

Jonty Lewis, the mother of four-year-old Bailey and two-year-old Skye who were killed by Melanie Smith when she set fire to a pushchair, wrote in a statement:

People always ask me if I'm okay: I lie. In truth my heart is not just broken, it's been torn apart. How do you put in words the pain of your children being murdered. How do you stop asking yourself questions, what if.

When I wake up in the morning, that first minute is beautiful. In that 60 seconds I feel no pain, and I'm just listening for the laughter and footsteps running across the landing in the hope my bedroom door will fly open and they will come in, jump onto the bed so that I can smother them in kisses.

It is then that reality sets in. My heart is wrenched and the heavy empty feeling engulfs me. I realise that I will never hold my children's hands again, teach them to ride a bike, the 'normal' things a parent should be allowed to do.

Christmas, birthdays, nothing will ever be the same. Not only have my children been murdered but my family's future has been stolen from us, yes I have got memories, I've got pictures but I want them here. I want them back to make new memories, to take new pictures, to kiss Bailey's cheeky cheeks and paint Skye's pretty little nails.

If I'd known the final time that I kissed my babies goodbye was the last time, I would have hugged them that little bit harder. My babies were loved.

I just wish they were here for me to tell them.

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