Three jailed for combined 47 years after setting fire to family home

Two men and a woman have been jailed for a combined 47 years today after being found guilty of setting a house ablaze whilst a family of four were sleeping.

The three were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court for their roles in an arson attack on a house on Stonedene Court, Heckmondwike, in the early hours of Sunday August 11, 2019.


A 17-year-old male suffered life threating injuries in the incident which also involved his mother and two sisters aged 16 and 11, who managed to escape via windows.

Following a trial, Mohammed Iftikar Azad (45) of Mortimer Avenue, Healey, Batley, was sentenced to 32 years after being convicted of attempted murder.

Co-conspirators Vishal Thapar, (32) from Cleckheaton and Semia Hussain (26) from Batley were sentenced to nine years and six years, respectively, after both being convicted of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

DCI Sharron Kaye of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, who led the police investigation, said: “We welcome the three sentences given to Azad, Hussain and Thapar today for a targeted attack which could very easily have resulted in several people losing their lives.

“Their actions resulted in a 17-year-old male receiving very serious injuries from which he is making a slow recovery. All of the family have suffered the huge emotional and psychological trauma of waking up to see their home on fire, along with suffering the loss of treasured and irreplaceable possessions.

“It is incomprehensible that three persons would be prepared to carry out this shocking crime which was instigated by Azad for personal and business reasons. The sentences given to all three for their roles in this offence reflect the seriousness of their actions.

“We do hope that seeing these three jailed today will be of some comfort to the victims and the wider community.”

She added: “I also want to praise the remarkable bravery shown by the victim’s neighbour. His own property was damaged and he himself was injured while helping one of the children who escaped.

“He was recognised and commended by the judge for his very brave actions.”

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