Manchester

Stephen Archer guilty of sister's petrol bomb murder

Stephen Archer Image copyright GMP
Image caption Stephen Archer will be sentenced on Friday

A man has been found guilty of murdering his sister who he blamed for his father and uncle's deaths.

Julie Archer, 49, died three days after Stephen Archer set her on fire using a "petrol cocktail" in February 2016, Manchester Crown Court heard.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Ms Archer suffered 95% burns in the attack at her home on Surbiton Road, Newton Heath.

Archer, of Victoria Street, Openshaw, denied murder. Sentencing is on Friday.

The court heard Julie was left with "horror movie" injuries after Archer doused her with flammable liquid and set light to the vapours as she sat on a sofa.

He had falsely accused her of murdering their father and uncle and doctoring a will to disinherit him.

'Maim sister'

Ms Archer's 19-year-old daughter, Quibilah Archer-Cunningham, escaped with minor injuries after jumping from an upstairs window of the house. The family dog died in the blaze.

Archer was cleared of arson with intent to endanger the life of his niece.

Kirsty Walls, from the CPS, said: "[Archer] went to her house armed with a cocktail of petrol mixed with mineral spirit with the intent to cause her serious harm, and he did so whilst his niece was upstairs in the house."

"After making initial comments to the police that he had intended to maim his sister, he then claimed he had been acting in self-defence when he threw a glass of petrol at her and that the ignition of the petrol had been a freak accident," she added.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption The house in Newton Heath was badly damaged in the fire

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