Shahid Mohammed, who was extradited from Pakistan last year, stands trial at Leeds Crown Court 17-years after the historic Huddersfield tragic house fire that killed eight members of the same family. The youngest was just six-months-old.
A bitter dispute led to the deaths of eight members of the same family when their home was set alight with petrol bombs while they slept in the early hours of 12 May 2002, the court heard.
Shahid Mohammed, 36, is accused of killing five young children, their mother, uncle and grandmother in Birkby, Huddersfield. He’s also accused of conspiracy to commit arson with intent to endanger life.
Leeds Crown Court was told he was one of several men involved in starting the fire but had skipped bail prior to a trial in 2003 and fled to Pakistan. Shahid Mohammed was arrested in Rawalpindi on January 22, 2015, following a joint operation by West Yorkshire Police, the National Crime Agency and Pakistani authorities. He was detained there in 2015 and was extradited back to the UK last year.
The Chisti family were asleep in their home in Osborne Road when petrol was poured through the letterbox and a petrol bomb put through the window.
Nafeesa’s brother, 18-year-old Mohammed Ateeq-ur-Rehman (know as Ateeq) also died in the fire and their mother, Zaib-un-Nisa, 54, who jumped from an upstairs window, died a week later in hospital.
Prosecuting Alistair MacDonald QC, said the 37-year-old, reacted angrily when his sister, Shahida, became involved in a relationship with a man named Saud Pervez, who he did not approve of.
The couple had fled to Newcastle over the feud and were not in the house but Mohammed Shahid was allegedly targeting Saud’s friend Ateeq, who had supported the relationship.
The court heard how Ateeq, had played an “active part” in the maintaining of their relationship, and was probably the target of the attack.
A trial in 2003 led to the convictions of three men – Shaied Iqbal, Shakiel Shazad and Nazar Hussain – for their roles in the fire, with Iqbal being convicted of murder and the other two of manslaughter.
The prosecutor said that Shahid Mohammed did not stand trial at that time as he had jumped bail during the course of the investigations into the fire, he then made his way to Pakistan before he could be put on trial.
Mr Mohammed denies eight counts of murder and a single count of conspiracy to commit arson with intent to endanger life.
The trial continues.