Leicester fire deaths: Murder accused 'tried to stop blaze'

Court drawing of Aaron Webb
Image caption Aaron Webb says he lied to police because he was scared of one of his co-defendants

A man accused of murdering four members of a family in an arson attack said he tried to stop the fire being started by shouting warnings about a CCTV camera.

Aaron Webb, 20, is accused along with six other men and one boy of carrying out the arson attack on a house in Wood Hill, Leicester, on 13 September.

He admitted being at the scene, but said the fire was a complete surprise.

Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her daughter Zainab, 19, and sons Bilal, 17, and Jamal, 15 died in the blaze.

Mr Webb, of Saltersford Road, Leicester, told the jury at Nottingham Crown Court co-defendant Tristan Richards, 22, poured petrol over the door.

Targeted wrong address

He told the court there was a plan just to "brick" the family home of a man they believed had been involved in the fatal stabbing of their friend, Antoin Akpom, earlier that day.

However, they targeted the wrong address.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Four members of the Taufiq family died in the fire at their home

Mr Webb said he had no idea Mr Richards had brought along a jerry can full of petrol, until his co-defendant poured it over the door.

Mr Webb's barrister, Christopher Hotten QC, asked him: 'Did you want to be part of that?'

"No," the defendant replied.

Mr Webb said he tried to stop his accomplice by pointing out the CCTV camera.

Mr Richards has denied any part in the attack and said he did not know about the fire until the following morning.

The other seven defendants are:

  • Kemo Porter, 19, Browning Street, Leicester
  • Tristan Richards, 22, of Sparkenhoe Street, Leicester
  • Nathaniel Mullings, 19, of Farringdon Street, Northfield, Leicester
  • Shaun Carter, 24, of Franche Road, Leicester
  • Jackson Powell, 20, of Burnside Road, Leicester
  • Akeem Jeffers, 21, of Carr Mills, Buslingthorpe, Leeds
  • A 17-year-old youth, from Leicester, who cannot be named for legal reasons

All eight deny murder. The trial continues.

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