Carl Mills trial: Fire woman's terrified cries heard
- 4 July 2013
- From the section Wales
A neighbour has told a murder jury how she heard a trapped woman's terrifying cries for help as a fire ripped through a house killing three people inside.
Laura Williams told Newport Crown Court she looked out of her bedroom window to see thick black smoke pouring out of the house next door.
Six-month-old Kimberley Buckley, her mother Kayleigh, 17, and grandmother Kim, 46, died in the fire at their home in Cwmbran, Torfaen last September.
Carl Mills, 28, denies their murders.
Baby Kimberley, who was blind and deaf, had been brought home from hospital just hours before the fire started.
The prosecution alleges that Mr Mills, who is Kimberley's father, had become jealous of the attention Kayleigh gave to their daughter after she was born very prematurely along with a twin sister Angel, who was stillborn.
A fire investigator previously told the court that a recycling box was deliberately set alight causing a devastating blaze to engulf the house's hallway and spread rapidly through the house.
Neighbour Ms Williams gave evidence on Thursday and described how she had just finished feeding her newborn baby and was trying to get back to sleep when she heard a woman shouting "help".
"I thought it was teenagers messing around," she told the jury.
"Then I heard screaming, and shouting coming from outside. I think it was the same voice, there could've been another woman. Then I heard a male voice.
"The woman was shouting help. I could hear a male voice outside then I could hear a woman shouting the house is on fire call 999.
"I could hear her and a woman screaming shouting 'its hot, it's hot, I'm burning'."
Mrs Williams said that was at around 03:30 BST. It was the last time she heard voices from inside the property at Coed Eva.
She said she called out for her husband, Scott Williams, and he ran out of the house to see if he could help while she rang 999.
Mr Williams told the court he grabbed a neighbour's ladder but there was "nothing I could do".
His wife said there was a lot of thick black smoke coming from the house.
"By the time i went downstairs it was pouring out," she added.
"Black smoke was coming from the windows, flames up by he roof. You could see by then the fire had gone into the loft."
A police officer at the scene, Natasha Counsell, described how Mr Mills was found at the back door of the property.
Amid the chaos, he calmly explained his partner and daughter were inside.
It was "as if he were talking about the weather," she said.
Det Sgt Stuart Crocker told the court that when he later arrested Mr Mills on suspicion of murder, the defendant said: "I didn't do nowt. I was trying to get in through the back door. The police arrested me because they thought I done it."
Under cross examination by Patrick Harrington QC, the officer said Mr Mills appeared "normal" and "like any other detainee".
The prosecution say Mr Mills started the fire the night Kimberley was first allowed home from hospital at six months after he had been drinking and wrongly suspected Kayleigh had another man in the house with her.
The jury heard he had sent texts threatening to kill the family and to set fire to the house.
The trial has been adjourned until Friday.