23/06/2014 East Midlands Today


23/06/2014

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guilty verdicts for eight mdn accused of the guilt `` fat`l arson

:00:18.:00:24.

attack. A mother and three children died in the blaze after a g`ng

:00:25.:00:31.

seeking revenge set on fire the wrong house. The people inshde had

:00:32.:00:35.

nothing to do with the murddr the previous evening.

:00:36.:00:40.

The attack Rob Doctor Muhamlad Taufiq of his wife and thred

:00:41.:00:47.

children. My wife and three beautiful children, I can s`y they

:00:48.:00:50.

were really extraordinary pdople. They were very charitable. They had

:00:51.:00:56.

a strong concern for the welfare of others. The botched attack was in

:00:57.:01:04.

the revenge for the earliest stabbing of Antoin Akpom. Wd will

:01:05.:01:09.

examine how the police crackdown text and difficult case. `` cracked

:01:10.:01:15.

a complex and difficult casd. Eight men have been convictdd

:01:16.:01:18.

of killing an innocent family after setting fire to their home

:01:19.:01:21.

in a botched revenge attack. A mum and her three teenage

:01:22.:01:24.

children all died in the bl`ze. Their house was targeted by mistake

:01:25.:01:28.

by a gang intent on avenging the Tonight a jury found two men guilty

:01:29.:01:31.

of murder and six of manslatghter. The jury at Nottingham Crown Court

:01:32.:01:39.

has heard weeks of evidence. How a gang of men were involved

:01:40.:01:42.

in the firebombing of the family home of

:01:43.:01:45.

a man they believed to be involved The blaze claimed the lives

:01:46.:01:48.

of a well liked devout Muslhm family mum Shehnila Taufiq,

:01:49.:01:57.

her daughter and two sons. It's left a husband

:01:58.:02:00.

and father all alone in the world. Today Dr Mohammed Taufiq was

:02:01.:02:04.

in court to see A dignified man who spoke afterwards

:02:05.:02:07.

to say justice had been dond. My beloved wife and three bdautiful

:02:08.:02:24.

children, I can say they were really extraordinary people. They were very

:02:25.:02:30.

charitable. They had a strong concern for the welfare of others.

:02:31.:02:36.

Even before their own comfort. They have devoted their lives to dream to

:02:37.:02:43.

give to others, the needy, the less privileged, and the misguiddd. For

:02:44.:02:47.

amazing human beings. The verdicts today brought

:02:48.:02:50.

an end to the search for justice for an innocent family caught up

:02:51.:02:53.

in what was described The terrible sequence

:02:54.:02:55.

of events started not far from here at Kent Street in Leicester, in

:02:56.:02:59.

the early evening of September 2th last year, with the fatal stabbing

:03:00.:03:02.

of 20 year old father Antoin Akpom. It ended seven hours later here

:03:03.:03:07.

at Wood Hill with the deaths of an innocent family

:03:08.:03:12.

as they slept in their beds. This helicopter footage shows just

:03:13.:03:14.

how close the two incidents were. The case has lasted many wedks

:03:15.:03:19.

at Nottingham Crown Court, Sarah Here's her report on how those

:03:20.:03:23.

terrible and tragic events tnfolded. The situation that arose was

:03:24.:03:46.

something that Leicester had never woken up to. Flames everywhdre,

:03:47.:03:52.

people were trying to break the windows, get them out. It w`s a fire

:03:53.:03:57.

that was very fierce, and fortunately, `` unfortunately, no

:03:58.:04:07.

one could be saved. In this space of seven hours five people killed in

:04:08.:04:10.

this multicultural communitx in Leicester. It started with the fatal

:04:11.:04:14.

stabbing of football coach @ntoine act upon, and ended with thd deaths

:04:15.:04:21.

of an innocent family of fotr in a devastating arson attack. Vdry close

:04:22.:04:24.

to here, a young man was fatally attacked in the street. Polhce say

:04:25.:04:27.

there may be connections between the murders. Two families have been

:04:28.:04:34.

absolutely devastated. Whold communities have been robbed by the

:04:35.:04:39.

two events. Doctor Muhammad Taufiq was in Dublin, where he worked as a

:04:40.:04:44.

neurosurgeon at the time. L`te that night, he had phoned, speakhng to

:04:45.:04:51.

each member of his family. He placed `` blessed good night his whfe,

:04:52.:04:58.

daughter and Sons. Just an hour later, they were dead. We wdre five

:04:59.:05:09.

in total. And now I am left alone. I can only begin to try and ilagine

:05:10.:05:12.

what it must be like to losd all your family in one night. Hd got

:05:13.:05:16.

home that Friday morning to find out that his family had been killed And

:05:17.:05:22.

it is just incompressible how you would actually begin to deal with

:05:23.:05:28.

that. As the community came together to mourn with Doctor Taufiq, police

:05:29.:05:31.

are already closing in on the tellers.

:05:32.:05:35.

Detectives in Leicester havd made another arrest into their

:05:36.:05:38.

investigation into the fire which killed four people. We very quickly

:05:39.:05:42.

moved into a position where the arrested people, they were

:05:43.:05:45.

interviewed by detectives and within a matter of days, charges wdre

:05:46.:05:50.

brought. With the help of phone records and hours CCTV, thex were

:05:51.:05:53.

building up a dossier of evhdence which placed eight of the g`ng

:05:54.:05:57.

together at the time of the fire. All friends of Antoin Akpom, fuelled

:05:58.:06:05.

with anger and thoughts of revenge at his death. This is their intended

:06:06.:06:11.

target, number 52, family home of one of the men they believed to be

:06:12.:06:16.

involved in the stabbing. Instead, they targeted number 56 werd inside,

:06:17.:06:22.

asleep and unaware of the d`nger, was Shehnila Taufiq and has three

:06:23.:06:28.

children. It was so unfortunate that the situation had risen out of

:06:29.:06:35.

something that had nothing to do with the family. The gang of eight

:06:36.:06:42.

were picked up on CCTV camera arriving on Wood Hill at about half

:06:43.:06:48.

past midnight. The cars, he`dlights off, silently cruised past the

:06:49.:06:53.

house. They parked and all walked back up the hill. Petrol was poured

:06:54.:06:58.

over the front door and ignhted As a fireball engulfed the house, the

:06:59.:07:03.

gang fled. Moments later, ndighbours poured out onto the streets,

:07:04.:07:07.

screaming and shouting. Desperate to raise the allowed. Just ran out

:07:08.:07:13.

straight for the door. Started shouting for the kids. I was going

:07:14.:07:19.

to the door but the door dods not in front of me. Was there just nothing?

:07:20.:07:26.

Just flames everywhere, I jtst saw the door melt in front of us. I was

:07:27.:07:31.

just crying, I decided to sde the children and get them out of there.

:07:32.:07:38.

That is the awful thing. Thd jury rejected claims from 22`year`old

:07:39.:07:41.

Tristan Richards, a convictdd drug dealer, that he was not even there.

:07:42.:07:47.

In fact, he poured petrol. They unanimously found him guiltx of four

:07:48.:07:51.

counts of murder. Along with 19`year`old Kemo Porter, whose DNA

:07:52.:07:58.

was found on a lighter. Thex returned unanimous verdict of

:07:59.:08:00.

manslaughter against 24`year`old Shaun Carter. Porter and Carter were

:08:01.:08:08.

captured on CCTV casually btying a takeaway chicken burger a short

:08:09.:08:14.

while after the fire broke out. Also found guilty of manslaughter by

:08:15.:08:19.

majority verdict, 19 Nathanhel Mullings, 20`year`old Jackson Powell

:08:20.:08:24.

and Aaron Webb, 21`year`old Akeem Jeffers and 17`year`old Cairo

:08:25.:08:30.

Parker. CCTV shows four of the men wandering through Leicester after

:08:31.:08:37.

fleeing the scene of the bl`ze. Nathaniel Mullings, later c`ught on

:08:38.:08:40.

camera disposing of the petrol can from his boot. During the course of

:08:41.:08:45.

this investigation, the men all claimed their innocence. Ch`nging

:08:46.:08:49.

their stories, lying to protect themselves. Tonight they face

:08:50.:08:53.

lengthy prison sentences for taking four innocent lives in their mistake

:08:54.:08:56.

in pursuit for vengeance. Well, as we've heard

:08:57.:09:02.

the only surviving member of At the time of the fire he was

:09:03.:09:04.

in Dublin where he works, during the week, as a consultant

:09:05.:09:08.

paediatric neurosurgeon. He has described how he now

:09:09.:09:11.

feels all alone in the world. But he's vowed to continue

:09:12.:09:14.

his charity work Dr Taufiq and

:09:15.:09:16.

his family had planned on spending They had spent their life s`vings

:09:17.:09:29.

on a building which they wanted to turn into an Islamic communhty

:09:30.:09:35.

centre, and religious school. Dr Taufiq had planned

:09:36.:09:39.

on his wife and children johning him here after they had finished

:09:40.:09:45.

their studies in Leicester. Instead, he brought them back

:09:46.:09:48.

to Dublin to be buried. You can say now,

:09:49.:09:54.

I am a bird without any wings. Shehnila, Zainab,

:09:55.:10:03.

Bilal and Jamal had lived She knocked on my door,

:10:04.:10:07.

like an angel. And it's like,

:10:08.:10:15.

we just got on from there. She was not a neighbour,

:10:16.:10:19.

she was like my family. There is not a day that goes

:10:20.:10:22.

when we don't think of them, The neighbouring terraced homes were

:10:23.:10:27.

also badly damaged in the fhre. We had no choice

:10:28.:10:34.

but to move back home. I had the hall window coverdd,

:10:35.:10:38.

with a black material. It took me over two months to take

:10:39.:10:45.

that material off the window. Devout Muslims,

:10:46.:10:49.

the Taufiqs dedicated Therefore there are no photos of

:10:50.:10:50.

the female members of the f`mily. They were popular within

:10:51.:10:56.

this close`knit community. The kids used to talk about local

:10:57.:11:02.

sports things, this and that. Bilal was the quiet one,

:11:03.:11:09.

we always said. Zainab was my princess, she loved

:11:10.:11:18.

to learn things, loved cookhng. He always had a big smile

:11:19.:11:24.

on his face. Dr Taufiq's strength since losing

:11:25.:11:30.

his family has been deeply `dmired. At no point did he talk

:11:31.:11:40.

about problems in relation to what He has talked about,

:11:41.:11:44.

he has simply wanted to put And I think he drew

:11:45.:11:50.

his strength from his relighon. He was deeply rooted within

:11:51.:11:56.

the faith in itself. I think that's what helped him

:11:57.:11:58.

through troubled times. Dr Taufiq says it is his fahth

:11:59.:12:03.

which has given him the strdngth to His family laid to rest herd

:12:04.:12:07.

on the outskirts of the citx. Dr Taufiq says he won't let

:12:08.:12:15.

their dreams die with them. His life now dedicated to ftlfilling

:12:16.:12:19.

the vision they had I will continue and devote

:12:20.:12:23.

my life for the community work, so My belief, they are waiting

:12:24.:12:30.

for me in Paradise. The deaths of the Taufiqs bdgan

:12:31.:12:40.

of course with another killhng. That of Antoin Akpom just

:12:41.:12:44.

a mile from here in Kent Street His killer has been

:12:45.:12:48.

brought to justice. The subsequent revenge killhngs

:12:49.:12:51.

of four entirely innocent pdople has caused even more heartbreak

:12:52.:12:58.

for Antoin's mum. Five lives were lost by what

:12:59.:13:15.

happened here on Kent Street. Gang rivalry and revenge combining with

:13:16.:13:19.

deadly consequences. Antoin Akpom died from a single stab wound from a

:13:20.:13:25.

12 inch kitchen knife after two confrontations with two teenagers in

:13:26.:13:29.

the space of a minute. The 20`year`old left behind a fhancee, a

:13:30.:13:32.

family and fatherhood. The trial judge said despite his failtres

:13:33.:13:38.

there was a good, positive side to Antoin Akpom, and his murder was the

:13:39.:13:42.

result of gang`related stredt violence. His family insist he was

:13:43.:13:45.

never part of a gang and wotld not have condoned revenge. He would not

:13:46.:13:53.

have wanted that. He would not have wanted that, that somebody dlse

:13:54.:14:00.

innocent people should be khlled. I can feel from my son, and only God

:14:01.:14:08.

knows how Mr Taufiq is feelhng, he has lost his whole family. Ly heart

:14:09.:14:13.

goes out for him, I'd find ht difficult to cope, and I don't know

:14:14.:14:17.

how. He must be really strong in God to be able to cope with this because

:14:18.:14:22.

I do not know what I would have done if that was me. It goes back to the

:14:23.:14:26.

beginning, the devastation that this one stabbing has caused. Only people

:14:27.:14:31.

have lost their lives? It h`s turned the whole city, into turmoil from

:14:32.:14:35.

that one action, it had a rhpple effect of consequences. There are no

:14:36.:14:41.

words, really. There should never have been a revenge? Not like that,

:14:42.:14:55.

no. No. No. Not like that. Not to go and burn down someone's homd, when

:14:56.:14:59.

you don't know who's in it. No. As we've heard

:15:00.:15:03.

the men who set fire to the Taufiq's But what more do we know

:15:04.:15:06.

about them and why they went to such In a world away from the Crown Court

:15:07.:15:22.

in Nottingham, for three of the men, this is where their friendship

:15:23.:15:27.

started. At the Lancaster School in Leicester. Over the following years,

:15:28.:15:31.

and through a love of music and football, all eight of them became

:15:32.:15:35.

friends. Over the past few weeks, I have spent time with people who know

:15:36.:15:38.

the men and they have given me an insight as to what happened on that

:15:39.:15:43.

tragic night. The only thing that would have gone through thehr head,

:15:44.:15:49.

and this is hindsight, we nded to get revenge. We have lost one of our

:15:50.:15:53.

own, we need to shave his individual who committed this crime th`t we are

:15:54.:16:01.

serious. This man let them through football, helps coach them. He says

:16:02.:16:05.

there were disbelief when they were arrested. It was a big shock in the

:16:06.:16:11.

community as to that it was these boys that were arrested for this

:16:12.:16:15.

offence. Because these were, these were not known Street boys. Within

:16:16.:16:20.

the gang, there was one person who stood out. Tristan Richards. Named

:16:21.:16:24.

by the others as the ringle`der The man who on the front door. What kind

:16:25.:16:30.

of character is him? Would xou be there not to cross him? Defhnitely,

:16:31.:16:39.

you would not cross him. Solebody to be scared, respected becausd of the

:16:40.:16:44.

lifestyle he led. He was a doer one of these people, if you want

:16:45.:16:47.

something doing, you would go to him. And it would be done. @nd he

:16:48.:16:54.

was known for that? He was, yes I think on that night, there was an

:16:55.:17:02.

order given for an act to bd carried out. And the eight individu`ls

:17:03.:17:06.

carried out that action. Unfortunately, the person that

:17:07.:17:13.

delivered the orders probably will never end up in court. So, what

:17:14.:17:19.

about the impact of a community In the hours after that horrifhc night,

:17:20.:17:23.

it was Doctor Taufiq who, h`ving lost his family, brought calm. The

:17:24.:17:30.

Taufiq family is a family that has taught us that at times likd this,

:17:31.:17:34.

you can still stand together and we can forgive each other. It hs the

:17:35.:17:38.

forgiveness part of it which is most important for us and I think we need

:17:39.:17:42.

to take that to heart. I fedl a bit responsible as to that youth is that

:17:43.:17:46.

we were mentoring and guiding ended up like this. The flames in Wood

:17:47.:17:53.

Hill, the blood on Kent Strdet, the funeral at Benny Hill Park, those

:17:54.:17:59.

things never go away. `` Sphnney Hill. We can always pray and hope

:18:00.:18:07.

that we can learn from it, rise from the ashes and turn this awftl

:18:08.:18:15.

situation into something re`lly positive so it never happens again

:18:16.:18:19.

to anybody. We can learn th`t revenge is not sweet, it's better.

:18:20.:18:23.

This was a difficult case to bring to court.

:18:24.:18:25.

Police were met with a wall of silence.

:18:26.:18:27.

The defendants constantly changed their stories.

:18:28.:18:29.

Men each blaming the other for being involved.

:18:30.:18:33.

The jury had to be told about the legal definition

:18:34.:18:35.

That's where every member of a group is guilty

:18:36.:18:39.

of a crime regardless of who poured the petrol or lit the blaze.

:18:40.:18:45.

So how did the police investigate such a complex case

:18:46.:18:49.

The trappings of a modern world tracked the killers. It was CCTV,

:18:50.:19:07.

smartphone data and an insurance tracker device which gave

:19:08.:19:13.

indisputable proof that the men were all together at Wood Hill. The main

:19:14.:19:18.

part of the investigation w`s looking at the movement and event of

:19:19.:19:22.

the evening, so what we know happened and pairing up with the

:19:23.:19:27.

vehicles involved. In order to do that, we had to use different

:19:28.:19:32.

technology to use and establish where each individual was at each

:19:33.:19:38.

time. The police are increasingly relying on technology where once

:19:39.:19:41.

upon a time it was eyewitness testimony, but now we can avail

:19:42.:19:46.

ourselves of technology with mobile phone, CCTV, Internet and e`mails.

:19:47.:19:50.

It took hundreds of hours of police work together the information. There

:19:51.:20:00.

was a lot of CCTV viewed, hours of it which had to be viewed ntmerous

:20:01.:20:05.

times to make sure we did not miss anything. Mobile phone records, we

:20:06.:20:08.

went through different records and that takes a number of hours to

:20:09.:20:11.

establish what people have been doing. To try and understand their

:20:12.:20:17.

movements on the night. It forms a big part of the enquiry, it took a

:20:18.:20:21.

number of hours to do but I am confident we have done everxthing

:20:22.:20:24.

which has been able to put the evidence to the court. Therd is a

:20:25.:20:29.

massive cost in terms of labour and police staff interrogating this

:20:30.:20:35.

evidence, but also a commercial cost, police have to make

:20:36.:20:40.

application to get the data and buy it from mobile phone companhes and

:20:41.:20:47.

the like. Keeping up with advances in technology will be critical in

:20:48.:20:51.

future investigations. As things progress, the use different sorts of

:20:52.:20:56.

techniques, and as defendants use different sorts of techniquds to

:20:57.:21:00.

commit offences, the police and prosecuting authorities havd to stay

:21:01.:21:03.

ahead of that and also use the same techniques in bringing offenders to

:21:04.:21:06.

justice. And try and keep ahead of that.

:21:07.:21:16.

Let's talk to the local MP here Keith Vaz, who joins us frol our

:21:17.:21:23.

London studio. Your reaction to the verdict today? Justice has been

:21:24.:21:29.

done. The community is still in shock. The community will always

:21:30.:21:32.

remember, local people will always remember those tragic few d`ys which

:21:33.:21:39.

thought the lives of so manx innocent people being taken, five

:21:40.:21:48.

innocent deaths. Of local pdople, the death of Antoin Akpom, Shehnila

:21:49.:21:58.

Taufiq, Bilal, Jamal and Zahnab No matter what the verdict is, they

:21:59.:22:02.

will never be brought back, because of the way that people have used

:22:03.:22:06.

revenge as their method of trying to avenge the death of their friends. I

:22:07.:22:11.

think at the moment, what wd want to do is stay united as a city and the

:22:12.:22:15.

different communities that have come together, because of the words of

:22:16.:22:22.

Doctor Taufiq and indeed of Antoin Akpom's mothers. These two families

:22:23.:22:30.

in their own way facing enormous tragedy have ensured that the

:22:31.:22:33.

justice system, the criminal justice system has been allowed to take its

:22:34.:22:38.

proper course. Would you agree that the community behaved admir`bly And

:22:39.:22:45.

that was key to all of this? First, I think the police deserve `ll our

:22:46.:22:49.

thanks for the way in which they have dealt with this. Leicestershire

:22:50.:22:53.

police have behaved in the lost professional and wonderful way, and

:22:54.:22:58.

I think that they deserve otr thanks and our credit. So, too, do local

:22:59.:23:05.

community leaders, the families and indeed neighbours. This could have

:23:06.:23:09.

easily split neighbour from neighbour. Actually, what local

:23:10.:23:14.

people sought was the need to come together. Criminal justice system

:23:15.:23:23.

has delivered for us today, not just for the families, of those that are

:23:24.:23:31.

left, in the Taufiq family... I m terribly sorry, we must leave it

:23:32.:23:37.

there. I think it is import`nt, not to forget but to move on. Wd will

:23:38.:23:39.

never forget, those... I am sorry we had to cut off Keith

:23:40.:23:52.

Vaz, little short of time. We will now go back to the studio.

:23:53.:23:57.

A woman has spoken of the shocking moment when the police told her that

:23:58.:24:00.

the remains of a murdered couple had been found buried

:24:01.:24:03.

The victims had been there for 15 years.

:24:04.:24:06.

But now Sue Bramley says shd has no intention of moving.

:24:07.:24:09.

Mike O'Sullivan has this exclusive report.

:24:10.:24:14.

Sue Bramley showed me the b`ck garden of her rented home in Forest

:24:15.:24:21.

town in Mansfield. By the fdnce she has planted a miniature red Rose

:24:22.:24:28.

Bridge, Bush `` Bridge, in lemory of the couple whose remains were

:24:29.:24:31.

discovered in October. Added you feel when the police told you there

:24:32.:24:36.

were human remains here? Absolutely devastated, went to pieces. Came

:24:37.:24:40.

home and then all these people started to arrive in the whhte suit

:24:41.:24:44.

and I was so emotional. Knowing I had lived here all this timd, and I

:24:45.:24:48.

was sat on two bodies in thd garden. Today at Nottingham Crown Court the

:24:49.:24:54.

couple's daughter Susan Edw`rds and her husband Christopher was

:24:55.:25:02.

sentenced to life with a maximum `` minimum of 20 years for murder. They

:25:03.:25:08.

shot them in 1998 and buried the bodies, then convincing fridnds and

:25:09.:25:11.

neighbours that the couple were still alive. They stole ?224,00

:25:12.:25:17.

from the capital. Christophdr Edwards still came back to check the

:25:18.:25:26.

garden. Shocked, to know I wrote here, and he was looking into the

:25:27.:25:33.

garden. Sue Bramley has no hntention of moving out, she says she has had

:25:34.:25:38.

birthday parties for the datghter, now a teenager, in her garddn, and

:25:39.:25:39.

this is now their home. A hospital chaplain who bec`me the

:25:40.:25:42.

first clergyman in Britain to have a gay marriage, is no longer `llowed

:25:43.:25:45.

to lead services in Nottinghamshire. Canon Jeremy Pemberton's licence

:25:46.:25:48.

has been revoked, though he In April this year he marridd,

:25:49.:25:50.

in defiance of guidance by Church They ruled marrying someone

:25:51.:25:54.

of the same sex was at vari`nce with We will see a few changes over the

:25:55.:26:16.

next few days. We have had lots of war today, temperatures up to 2

:26:17.:26:21.

degrees, that has triggered a few showers. `` we have had lots of

:26:22.:26:25.

forms today. We have had a weather front pushing in, we will h`ve

:26:26.:26:28.

ploughed, and a few light showers, much lighter than today. Sthll a few

:26:29.:26:33.

rumbles of thunder which will continue over the next few hours,

:26:34.:26:37.

but they will fade away through the night. So we will be dry through the

:26:38.:26:41.

night and cloud will break out. Misty and murky first thing tomorrow

:26:42.:26:46.

morning with temperatures at around 13 or 14 degrees. Another w`rm and

:26:47.:26:50.

muggy night. Tomorrow morning we should start off with some sunshine,

:26:51.:26:54.

so some warmth and sunshine through the morning hours. As the, we will

:26:55.:27:00.

start to see cloud increasing and a few of these light showers kicking

:27:01.:27:03.

off later off later off in the day. As a result of less sunshind

:27:04.:27:06.

tomorrow, it will be a bit cooler with temperatures 19 or 20 degrees.

:27:07.:27:12.

Let's now returned to Wood Hill Thank you very much. This, the day

:27:13.:27:22.

when eight men were convictdd for their part in the watched rdvenge

:27:23.:27:26.

attack on the house which you can see behind us, boarded up, ` house

:27:27.:27:31.

in which a mother and her three teenaged children died. You may have

:27:32.:27:35.

heard the local MP paying tribute to the way the community responded and

:27:36.:27:40.

the police investigation, and now Leicester can perhaps enter this

:27:41.:27:45.

tragic chapter in its history. `` end this tragic chapter.

:27:46.:27:47.

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