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Blaze killer begins life sentence

A used-car salesman who murdered his estranged wife, their son and his father-in-law by setting fire to their home is starting life in prison.

Danai Muhammadi, 24, was told he will spend at least 38 years in jail before being eligible for parole for killing three generations of his own family.

Fuelled by spite and resentment following the breakdown of their marriage, he killed Melissa Crook, 20, and their 15-month-old son Noah by torching the house in Chatham Hill, Chatham, Kent.

Mrs Crook's father Mark Crook, 49, was left critically ill in hospital following the fire just before 2.30am on September 10 last year. He died six days later.

Sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court, Judge Mr Justice Sweeney said: "It can truly be described as pure, selfish wickedness."

Iraqi-born Muhammadi and his friend, nightclub bouncer Farhad Mahmud, 35, squirted petrol through the letterbox using a garden sprayer before igniting it, leading to fire breaking out at the base of the stairs.

Flames cut off any escape route for the family who were asleep upstairs as dense smoke filled the three-bed property.

Last month, Muhammadi and Mahmud were each found guilty of three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder in relation to Mrs Crook's mother Amanda, 50, and brother Bohdan, 22, who survived.

Muhammadi's on-off girlfriend, Emma Smith, 22, was convicted of three counts of manslaughter following a six-week trial.

Mahmud was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum term of 34 years in prison before being eligible for parole. Smith, who "encouraged and goaded" Muhammadi, was jailed for 14 years.

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