Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Three deny family blaze murders

Three people have pleaded not guilty to murdering three generations of the same family in an arson attack at their home.

Twenty-year-old Melissa Muhammadi, whose maiden name was Crook, and her 15-month-old son Noah died after a fire at Chatham Hill in Chatham, Kent, in the early hours of September 10.

Noah's grandfather Mark Crook, 49, was left critically ill with severe burns in hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex, and died six days later.

At Maidstone Crown Court, Mrs Muhammadi's estranged husband and Noah's father, Danai Muhammadi, 23, pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder, as did his friend, Farhad Mahmud, 35, of Kensington House, Maidstone.

Car salesman Muhammadi, of Britannia Street, Coventry, and Mahmud also denied two counts of attempted murder in relation to Mrs Muhammadi's mother, Amanda Crook, and brother, Bohdan Crook, who were injured in the blaze.

Muhammadi's girlfriend, unemployed Emma Smith, 21, of Barley Lea, Stoke Aldermoor, Coventry, pleaded not guilty to the same charges as the two men.

She also denied an additional charge of conspiracy to commit arson with intent to endanger life.

Judge Jeremy Carey said a four-week trial will be heard by a High Court judge at Maidstone from April 18 before he further remanded the trio into custody.


From Belfast Telegraph