Blaze accused mother 'wanted drama'
A mother accused of killing two of her children in a house fire allegedly started the blaze because she wanted to create a "drama" after she found out her partner was cheating on her, a court has been told.
Fiona Adams, 23, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Niamh, five, and two-year-old Cayden, who died in the blaze in Buxton, Derbyshire, in April 2010.
She escaped from the house in Edale Way by jumping from an upstairs window with her eight-month-old son, Kiernan, just before midnight on April 23.
Opening the case for the prosecution at Nottingham Crown Court, Timothy Spencer QC told a jury that Adams, who appeared in the dock wearing a white T-shirt above which evidence of the fire could be seen in what appeared to be burn scars on her neck, sought attention from her partner James Maynard, the children's father, after their relationship broke down.
Mr Spencer told the jury of seven men and five women: "Fiona Adams in the spring of last year was in an unhappy situation. No decent human being could fail to have sympathy with her predicament.
"There were many ways with which she could have dealt with things, what she chose to do was to create a drama around herself and her children and that drama culminated in her setting fire (to her) own home.
"The result of which was the fire took a rapid and devastating hold. She and her youngest child were spared but with serious injuries but her two eldest children, aged two and five, died in the fire."
He said Adams found out 28-year-old Mr Maynard had cheated on her several times, the first being shortly after the birth of Niamh, which distressed her considerably and also led her to threaten suicide in 2006.
The court also heard that despite the couple's troubled relationship they went on to have another child with the birth Cayden in September 2007. However, they split up in May 2008 after Adams found out for definite about Mr Maynard's relationship with the other woman.
After finding out that relationship had continued through their separation Adams attempted suicide again, Mr Spencer said, this time with an overdose of 22 paracetamol tablets and tramadol tablets.