Man denies murdering eight in Birkby house fire

image copyrightWest Yorkshire Police/Fire Service
image captionShahid Mohammed is accused of the murders of five sisters, their mother, uncle and grandmother

A man has denied the murders of eight family members in a house fire in 2002.

Shahid Mohammed is accused of starting a fire in Birkby, Huddersfield, that caused the deaths of five sisters, their mother, uncle and grandmother.

Mr Mohammed pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit arson with intent to endanger life and eight counts of murder at Leeds Crown Court.

The 36-year-old was detained in Pakistan in 2015 and extradited back to the UK in October.

The family were asleep in their home on Osborne Road when petrol was poured through the letterbox and a petrol bomb put through the window.

Nafeesa Aziz, 35, and her five young daughters - Tayyaba Batool, three, Rabiah Batool, 10, Ateeqa Nawaz, five, Aneesa Nawaz, two, and Najeeba Nawaz, six months, all died in the blaze.

Nafeesa Aziz's brother, Mohammed Ateeq-ur-Rehman, 18, also died in the fire and their mother, Zaib-un-Nisa, 54, who jumped from an upstairs window, died a week later in hospital.

A provisional trial start date has been set for 8 July 2019.

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