Wales

Carl Mills murder trial: Girl heard Cwmbran fire victims' cries for help

Kim Buckley, Kayleigh Buckley and Kimberley Buckley
Image caption Kim Buckley, Kayleigh Buckley and Kimberley Buckley died in the fire

A young girl has told a murder trial how she was woken by the screams of a woman and her teenage daughter who died in a fire at their home in Torfaen.

The girl, who cannot be named, told the jury at Newport Crown Court she heard Kim and Kayleigh Buckley's calls for help from the burning house in Cwmbran.

Kayleigh's six-month-old daughter Kimberley also died in the blaze.

The baby's father, Carl Mills, 28, denies killing the three generations of the family on 18 September last year.

In video evidence to the court the girl told the jury she saw Mr Mills during the fire, who referred to his deaf and blind daughter as the "weird baby".

The girl said she could hear a commotion near the Buckleys' home in the early hours of the morning.

She said: "It was about 3.30. It woke me up but because Kayleigh and her boyfriend regularly argue - I was going to tell them to be quiet.

"But then I heard my neighbours outside screaming 'are you ok? What's happened?'"

A large group of residents had gathered outside the house as the fire took hold.

The witness said: "I heard the girls scream up to Kayleigh and Kim to see if they were ok, to see if they could get out of the house."

Trapped

She continued: "I thought Kayleigh was outside because she was screaming 'mum'.

"They [the neighbours] were trying to comfort them, (to see) if they were okay, and if there was any way of them escaping."

Image caption Carl Mills is accused of killing his daughter, girlfriend and her mother

She said Kim, 46, and 17-year-old Kayleigh Buckley could be heard shouting to each other from inside the burning house.

The girl said: "Kim and Kayleigh, they were replying. I heard Kim shouting to Kayleigh, saying 'Kayleigh, I'm on fire'."

The younger woman said she could not leave the room she shared with her baby daughter because the fire "has trapped us in", the court heard.

She told the court it was five to 10 minutes later before it went quiet.

"That's the last thing I heard off them," the girl told the jury.

The court heard the girl saw Mr Mills shortly after the fire had started. She was standing with a group of friends outside a neighbour's house when he approached them and asked them what had happened.

The girl said: "He was drunk and could barely stand."

The court heard Mr Mills was told three times by the group that the house was on fire and he referred to his daughter as "that weird baby".

The girl said the defendant, who had been "swaying from side to side", then walked off. Shortly afterwards he was arrested by Gwent Police.

The witness said that Kim Buckley was "lovely" and "always smiling" but added that she had not spoken to Kayleigh Buckley for up to a year.

The jury was later told about a series of messages and posts between Mr Mills, Kayleigh and her mother on the social network Facebook.

The court was told how in the Facebook posts, Kayleigh had repeatedly told Mr Mills that she loved him and how she had wished people would stop "getting involved" in their relationship.

In response Mr Mills had replied he loved her and said "they were just jealous because we're happy".

The jury heard how Kayleigh's mother Kim then joined the Facebook conversation and told Mr Mills "there comes a time when enough is enough".

Mr Mills went on to call her a "bully" and wrote "Kim is going to get something happening to her", the court was told.

There were then further declarations of love between Kayleigh and Mr Mills before he called her a "lying slut" and accused her of seeing other boys, the jury heard.

The court was told how on 16 August Kayleigh had posted on the site that she was engaged to Mr Mills and they spoke of how they could not wait to be married.

The jury then heard how on the day before the fire, the pair sent each other a number of texts and repeatedly told each other they loved one another.

A text from from Mr Mills at 15:34 said: "I love you so much baby."

The trial continues.

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