Second wife row man cleared of fire murder

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Image caption Kaltoun Saleh died following a fire at her home in Corker Walk, Finsbury Park

A man has been cleared of setting his wife on fire during a row about his second wife.

Abdi Quule, 45, was accused of pouring white spirit over 43-year-old Kaltoun Saleh and engulfing her in flames in the early hours of 5 July last year.

The mother of four suffered 92% burns in the fire at the family home in Holloway, north London.

She was put into an induced coma and died in hospital a month and a half later, the Old Bailey heard.

Afterwards, Mr Quule claimed she had accidentally caught fire in the kitchen while cooking him porridge and he was hurt as he tried to help her.

Defending, Bernard Richmond QC argued there was no evidence of a sensible motive for attacking his wife and experts could not rule out an accident.

His behaviour after she caught on fire was inconsistent with it being a deliberate act and, afterwards, she never made any comments blaming her husband for her injuries, the lawyer said.

A jury deliberated for three hours and 24 minutes to find Mr Quule, of Holloway, north London, not guilty of murder.

During the trial, prosecutor Jake Hallam QC had said the couple had a happy marriage for many years but Mrs Saleh had become upset after the defendant took a second wife in Somalia under Islamic law.