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Two men jailed for Salford house fire murders

Composite imageImage copyrightPolice handout
Image caption Lia, Demi, Brandon and Lacie died in the fire and their mother Michelle Pearson was left in a coma

Two men have been found guilty of murdering four children by torching their home with petrol bombs.

Zak Bolland, 23, and David Worrall, 26, were found guilty of murdering Demi, Brandon, Lacie and Lia Pearson in Walkden, Salford.

Courtney Brierley, 20, was found not guilty of four counts of murder but convicted of manslaughter following the blaze on December 11 last year.

Two men jailed for Salford house fire murders
Two men jailed for Salford house fire murders

They will be sentenced at Manchester Crown Court later.

The jury heard Bolland, who lived 300 yards from the Pearsons, launched the fatal attack after being involved in a petty feud with the victims’ 17-year-old brother Kyle Pearson.

Image copyrightGMP
Image caption Bolland and Worrall were found guilty of the murders of four siblings

Along with Worrall they removed a fence panel from the garden of the family’s home in Jackson Street, smashed a kitchen window and threw in two lit petrol bombs.

One landed near the stairs, blocking the only exit to the ground floor and trapping the victims upstairs as flames engulfed the three-bedroom mid-terrace house.

Demi, Brandon and Lacie all died in the blaze.

Their mother, Michelle Pearson, 36, was rescued, severely injured, along with her youngest daughter, Lia, aged three, who died in hospital two days later.

Neighbour Karen Kormoss told the jury during the murder trial Mrs Pearson screamed “not the kids” as the flames took hold.

She said she saw the windows blown out and flames coming from upstairs and downstairs within two minutes.

Mrs Pearson spent four months in a coma before being told about the deaths of her children.

Image copyrightGMP
Image caption Courtney Brierley was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter

Bolland was found guilty of three counts of the attempted murder of Mrs Pearson, Kyle, and his friend Bobby Harris who was staying at their house.

Worrall, of no fixed address, was found guilty of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent.

Worrall and Brierley broke down in tears as the verdicts were read out in court. Bolland blinked and looked down to the floor.

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