Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Woman in court over four deaths

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, died in a house fire in Prestatyn (North Wales Police/PA)
Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, died in a house fire in Prestatyn (North Wales Police/PA)

A woman has appeared in court charged with four counts of murder after a house fire killed four members of the same family in North Wales.

Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her 15-month-old son Charlie, her four-year-old nephew Bailey and two-year-old niece Skye died in the blaze on October 19.

Firefighters managed to rescue Charlie and his father Liam Timbrell, 23, from their first-floor flat following the blaze, but the youngster died on the following Sunday afternoon and Mr Timbrell remains in a serious condition in hospital.

Melanie Jane Smith, 42, was charged on Monday with four counts of murder, one count of arson with intent to endanger life, and threats to commit criminal damage following the fire at Maes y Groes in Prestatyn.

Smith, who lived in the flat below the victims, appeared at Prestatyn Magistrates' Court where her solicitor Chris Dawson told the court she denies the allegations against her.

Kenneth Allitt, chairman of the magistrates, remanded Smith in custody to appear before Mold Crown Court on Wednesday morning.

As she was taken down to the cells, two women in the public gallery shouted out the names of Skye and Bailey and a third woman shouted "rot in hell" towards the defendant.

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