Lancashire

Leanne Collopy murder: Saleem Said jailed over Rossendale house fire

Saleed Said Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Saleem Said has shown no remorse for his crimes, police said

A killer who stabbed his former girlfriend and set her home on fire whilst their two-year-old daughter was inside has been jailed for life.

Leanne Collopy, 25, died in hospital on 3 August, four days after being found in the house in Burnley Road in Rawtenstall, Lancashire.

Saleem Said, 40, pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

He was told he would have to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison.

Ms Collopy, Said, and their young daughter were rescued from the blaze at her home on 30 July.

She was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital for treatment but could not survive her injuries.

A post-mortem examination found she had died from her burns and multiple stab wounds.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Leanne Collopy managed to save her daughter's life, police believe

Their daughter was taken to hospital with serious burns - she suffered life-changing injuries.

Said remained in hospital until September, when he was arrested.

Lancashire Police said Said and their daughter had visited Ms Collopy's house, claiming their child had wanted to see see her.

Once inside, he attacked Ms Collopy and started a fire in the kitchen area with fuel from a petrol canister.

Det Ch Insp Gareth Willis said Said was a "cruel and evil man".

He said Said had planned the attack for weeks, and had purchased items to enable him to carry it out.

"Leanne and her daughter suffered horrendous injuries," added the detective. "It is clear she tried everything possible to protect her daughter and get her to safety. I have no doubt Leanne's brave actions that evening saved her daughter's life."

In addition to being given 30 years for murder, he was also handed 10 years - to run concurrently - for arson.

Ms Collopy's family said they will "never get over" what happened.

"Leanne was taken from us in the most violent and shocking manner that will haunt us all for the rest of our lives," they said.

"We miss her more than words can say, and her two little girls must grow up without such a wonderful role-model."

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