Jury to go out in blaze trial

Four siblings died in the fire at Lytham Road in Freckleton.
Four siblings died in the fire at Lytham Road in Freckleton.

A jury was today set to retire to consider its verdict in the trial of a teenager accused of murdering four members of the same Fylde family.

Dyson Allen, 19, denies starting the fire which broke out at a party to celebrate Freckleton mum Michelle Smith’s birthday.

Summing up the case, Mr Justice Males urged the jurors to set emotion aside and judge the evidence in a “fair, reasoned and careful” way.

He told them: “In a criminal trial the burden of proof is on the prosecution. In order to prove the defendant is guilty the prosecution must make you sure of his guilt.

“Nothing else will do.”

Allen denies four charges of murder and four of manslaughter after Reece Smith, 19, his sisters Ella and Holy, four, and brother Jordan, died from the effects of smoke.

The prosecution said Allen was alone upstairs in the house at the time the fire broke out on January 7 last year. It is claimed Allen had a history of starting fires.

Mr Justice Males told the jury for Allen to be guilty of murder they must be sure he started the fire and that he intended to cause death or grievous harm to the children in the bedroom.

David Fish, defending, asked the jury if they could rule out everyone else who was in the house in Lytham Road when the fire started.

No motive has ever been offered for Allen to deliberately start a fire in the room where the children slept.

(Proceeding)

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