Derby

Langley Mill flat fire was 'act of revenge'

The fire in Langley Mill killed Amy Smith, 17, her daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt and friend Edward Green, 17
Image caption The fire in Langley Mill killed Amy Smith, 17, her daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt and friend Edward Green, 17

A fire which killed two teenagers and a baby was started deliberately as an act of revenge following a row over a stolen moped, a court has been told.

Amy Smith, 17, was killed with her six-month-old daughter Ruby-Grace Gaunt and friend Edward Green, 17, in the blaze at Langley Mill, Derbyshire.

Prosecutors said the blaze last June was "planned and set" by Peter Eyre and his sons Simon and Anthony Eyre.

The men all deny three counts of murder.

Moped theft

Prosecution barrister James House QC told Nottingham Crown Court the "catalyst" for the attack was an argument over the alleged theft of a moped that belonged to Amy's boyfriend, Shaun Gaunt, 18, who was in the flat at the time of the fire.

Alleging Peter Eyre, 44, Simon Eyre, 24, and 22-year-old Anthony Eyre drove to Langley Mill, Mr House said of the blaze: "It was set using petrol which had been poured in the area immediately outside the front door.

"Although Mr Gaunt and the another teenager survivor escaped with the help of neighbours using ladders, Miss Smith and her daughter succumbed to smoke on a landing, while Mr Green was found dead near the front door.

"That front door was the only means of entry and exit to the flat on the second and third floor."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Nottingham Crown Court heard the fire was started deliberately as an act of revenge

The jury heard the incident involved Mr Gaunt, who had been told by a friend that a third son of Peter Eyre had been involved in the theft of his moped.

"It was the theft of that moped that was to be the catalyst for the tragic events that followed. Rumours abounded as to whom was responsible for stealing it," Mr House told the court.

During the confrontation, Peter Eyre is alleged to to have threatened Mr Gaunt with a hammer, telling him to get off his garden.

Damage was then caused to the windscreen of Peter Eyre's van and Mr Gaunt was allegedly seen brandishing a broken bottle.

Anthony Eyre has admitted three counts of manslaughter in relation to the blaze, having conceded he set fire to a car parked outside the flat without any intention to kill or cause serious harm.

The trial continues.

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