Liverpool

Man convicted of family murder at John Lennon's ex-flat

Sami Salem and Arena Saeed, and Sami Salem with Shadia and Rami Image copyright Liverpool Echo
Image caption Arena Saeed, pictured with Sami Salem, and her children Shadia Salem, six, and Rami Saeed, four, were found dead on 30 May

A man has been found guilty of suffocating his wife and drowning their two children at a flat in Liverpool that John Lennon once lived in.

Arena Saeed and her children Shadia Salem, six, and Rami Saeed, four, were found at the flat in Falkner Street, near Toxteth, Liverpool on 30 May.

Sami Salem, 30, was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court of their murder. He had admitted killing them on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

He will be sentenced on Friday.

Salem had told the court he was a paranoid schizophrenic.

Residents on Falkner Street were told to evacuate their homes due to concerns over a gas leak after the bodies were discovered.

The court heard he told emergency services he had taken an overdose, doused the flat in petrol and left the gas on in the hope it would burn down.

Image copyright Eleanor Barlow/ PA
Image caption The property is regularly visited by Beatles fans on tours of the city

Benjamin Myers QC, defending, told jurors what his client did was "heartbreaking, tragic and criminally wrong" but added: "Does anyone seriously suggest this would not have happened if he wasn't in the grip of paranoid schizophrenia?"

However prosecutor Gordon Cole QC said text messages revealed Salem as a controlling and domineering husband who limited his wife's access to the internet to prevent her contacting her immediate family in Yemen.

'Awful scene'

David Jones, of Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said after the hearing: "This is a terribly sad case.

"Police officers at the scene at the time of the tragedy said he appeared to show no remorse at all about what had happened."

"The scene in the flat on that day must have been truly awful," he added.

The property in the Georgian Quarter is regularly visited by Beatles fans on tours of the city.

The flat was once owned by the band's manager, Brian Epstein, and Lennon lived there with his first wife Cynthia shortly after they married in 1962.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption John Lennon lived in the flat shortly after he married his first wife Cynthia

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