Jury retires in George Sithole fire murder trial

Dumo Sibanda
Image caption Six-year-old Dumo Sibanda died after the fire, despite paramedics' attempts to resuscitate her

The jury in the trial of a man accused of murdering a six-year-old girl who died in a Sussex house fire in 2004 has retired to consider its verdict.

George Sithole, 41, of no fixed address, denies murder and two counts of arson at Lewes Crown Court.

He is alleged to have started a fire which killed Dumo Sibanda at the house in Banks Road, Pound Hill, Crawley.

Firefighters found Dumo, whose bedroom was at the back of the semi-detached house, unconscious next to her bed.

She could not be revived and was pronounced dead at hospital.

Jurors were told the 41-year-old fled the UK that year to return to his native South Africa. He was extradited on 16 March this year.

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