Buxton fatal fire mother 'wanted to create drama'

Fiona Adams, who escaped from the fire with her baby son
Image caption Fiona Adams escaped from the fire but was treated for burns in hospital

A Derbyshire mother accused of murdering two of her children in a fire started it because she wanted to create a "drama", a court has heard.

Fiona Adams, 23, from Buxton, escaped while daughter Niamh, five, and son Cayden, two, died in the fire in April.

She denies their murder and charges of arson and causing grievous bodily harm to her other son, then eight months.

Nottingham Crown Court heard she had a troubled relationship with the children's father.

'Unhappy situation'

She jumped from the window of the burning property in Edale Way with the eight-month-old baby just before midnight on 23 April last year.

Timothy Spencer, QC, prosecuting, told the jury that she sought attention from her partner James Maynard after their relationship broke down.

He said: "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."

Image caption The fire burned through the roof and destroyed upstairs windows

He added that the defendant found out Mr Maynard, 28, had cheated on her several times, and said she had attempted suicide.

The couple split up in May 2008 but later reconciled and their youngest child was born in August 2009.

The jury heard that, on the night of the fire, Ms Adams became annoyed with Mr Maynard deciding to do a shift at the hotel where he worked and not returning at the time he was expected back.

Ms Adams started complaining of an intruder in the garden via her Facebook page and also tried to ring police on a non-emergency line that was out of order, the court heard.

When a friend rang her to ask if she was all right, she told her someone had tipped over a barbecue in the garden and thrown plants around, the prosecution said.

CCTV was played to the court and metallic banging and crashing could be heard along with a woman's voice shouting "hello".

Mr Spencer said: "The prosecution says this was the start of the drama that Miss Adams started that night.

"It was in fact a charade and the person doing the banging was her and it was designed to create the idea she was being targeted by a vandal or vandals so that she would gain attention."

The trial is expected to last three to four weeks.

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