Brothers guilty of Bradford family fire deaths

Iram Shah with children Alina and Aman
Image caption Mrs Shah and her children were all in the same bed when the fire started

Two brothers have been found guilty of killing two children and their mother in an arson attack on their home in West Yorkshire.

Alina Shah, 10, and her brother Aman, eight, were fatally injured in the fire in Bradford last July. Their mother, Iram, 30, died in hospital.

Asjid Mahmood, 22, was found guilty of murder and his brother Arshed, 18, was found guilty of manslaughter.

A judge at Bradford Crown Court adjourned sentencing until 11 February.

The court had earlier been told the arson attack happened following a business dispute between Asjid Mahmood and Zaheer Shah, Mrs Shah's former partner and the father of the two children.

Prosecutors said it centred around a car Mr Shah and Asjid Mahmood had bought together to hire out.

A statement released by the Shah family said: "Aman, Alina and Iram bought only joy and happiness to anyone they came into contact with.

"Their lives were brutally cut short. The children and their mother deserved to live long and prosperous lives. They will never be forgotten by anyone who had the pleasure of knowing them."

During the two-week trial, Asjid Mahmood admitted setting fire to petrol-soaked paper at the back door of the family's home in Hendford Drive in the early hours of 6 July last year.

He claimed he was only trying to scare Mrs Shah's former husband, who had left the house earlier in the evening.

Mother jumped

Jurors were told Mrs Shah and her children were all in the same bed at the house on the night of the fire when the alarm was raised by her brother Mohsan Rasa.

Mr Rasa described how he went upstairs to raise the alarm with his sister but found there was no way out downstairs.

He said he climbed out of a back window and on to a lower roof where he waited for her to pass the children out to him.

Image caption The brothers had each denied three counts of murder

No-one came, though, and the fire was too intense to climb back in, Mr Rasa said.

He then went round to the front of the house where he saw his sister on the ground having jumped.

The court was told Mrs Shah had suffered 80% burns and died in hospital six days later.

The brothers, both of Pollard Lane, Undercliffe, Bradford, had each denied three counts of murder.

Jurors cleared Arshed Mahmood of murder but found him guilty of manslaughter.

Det Ch Insp Simon Bottomley, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Our investigations revealed that a dispute over money had lead Asjid and Arshed Mahmood to commit this heartless act.

"Their selfish actions have destroyed a family and had a profound impact on local people who were understandably shocked by these events."

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