Firebomb threat man who went on run is arrested

Image caption, Simon Buckley pleaded guilty to witness intimidation

A man who threatened witnesses to a fatal arson attack and went missing before he was due to be sentenced has been arrested, police have said.

Simon Buckley threatened to firebomb the witnesses' homes if they gave evidence against him in relation to a fire at Little Holme Walk, Bolton.

Buckley, 24, of Bolton, was arrested on Saturday and appeared before magistrates later that day.

He is next due to appear at Bolton Crown Court on Friday.

Four-year-old Alana Mian and her grandmother, Hameeda Begum, 71, were killed in the fire in June 2008.

Firefighter Steve Morris suffered 50% burns and is still recovering from his injuries.

Buckley admitted witness intimidation at an earlier hearing and was due to be sentenced at Bolton Crown Court on Friday, but went missing ahead of the hearing.

No murder charges

He and his girlfriend Tracey Peers-Holland and a 16-year-old boy went to the house of a murder investigation witness on 14 October 2008, police said.

Buckley told the man who lived there: "I'm Simon and when I find out who has been giving statements I will firebomb their houses," police said.

Peers-Holland, 26, of Bolton, also admitted witness intimidation at an earlier hearing.

On Friday she was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

A 16-year-old boy, from Bolton, who cannot be identified because of his age, was given a nine-month referral order, after admitting affray.

No one has been charged with murder in relation to the deaths, police said.

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