Revenge arsonist who murdered eight in a house fire is jailed for longer

A man who killed eight people of the same family in an act of revenge over his sister’s relationship has had his sentence increased after intervention by the Solicitor General, the Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP.

Thirty seven year old Shahid Mohammed has finally faced justice, 17 years after fleeing to Pakistan and then being extradited for killing eight members of the same family in a revenge arson attack.

In 2002, Mohammed, who was 19 years old, set out with a group of friends to target the victim’s family home equipped with four petrol bombs. Mohammed was in dispute with the victim over the relationship between the offender’s sister and a man who was friends with the victim.

As the family of 11 including five children slept inside, the group threw the petrol bombs into the property then poured petrol through the letterbox and ignited it. The fire quickly engulfed the stairs to the first floor, trapping the family. Seven members of the family including the five children, all under the age of 13, burned to death. The family’s grandmother, who jumped from a window to escape, later died from her injuries.

When on bail following the initial investigation, Mohammed fled to Pakistan and only returned to the UK on an extradition order 17 years after the attack.

On 7 August 2019, Mohammed was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to life imprisonment with a minimum of 23 years’ for conspiracy to commit arson and eight counts of murder.

Today, the sentence has been increased to life imprisonment with a minimum of 27 years’ by the Court of Appeal, after it was referred as unduly lenient by the Solicitor General, the Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP.

After the hearing the Solicitor General, the Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP, said:

Eight innocent lives were lost, including five small children under 13 in an utterly odious and wicked attack perpetuated because of a personal dispute. The offender then extended the pain and suffering of the victims’ relatives by fleeing the jurisdiction and avoiding justice for many years. It is vital that Mohammed’s sentence reflects this.

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