Manchester

Walkden siblings' fire deaths: Courtney Brierley appeal rejected

Courtney Brierley Image copyright GMP
Image caption Courtney Brierley was found guilty of four counts of manslaughter

A woman jailed over a petrol bomb attack that killed four children has lost an appeal against her conviction.

Courtney Brierley, 21, was sentenced to 21 years for four counts of manslaughter over the attack on a home in Walkden, Salford, in 2017.

Brierley, who also lost her appeal against her sentence, was accused of encouraging the attack by prosecutors.

Her then boyfriend Zak Bolland and David Worrall were jailed for life for the murder of the four siblings.

'No arguable ground'

Demi Pearson, 15, her brother Brandon, aged eight, and sisters Lacie, aged seven, and Lia, aged three, all died in the blaze.

Bolland and Worrall were both convicted of four counts of murder and ordered to serve minimum terms of 40 and 37 years respectively.

Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Lia, Demi, Brandon and Lacie died in the fire and their mother Michelle Pearson was left in a coma

Brierley, who was cleared of murder at a trial at Manchester Crown Court, appealed against her conviction, arguing it was inconsistent with the jury's verdicts in relation to Bolland and Worrall.

Lord Justice Holroyde, sitting with Mr Justice Warby and Mr Justice Julian Knowles, said: "There is no arguable ground on which the safety of the convictions can be challenged."

The trial heard Bolland had a "petty" feud with Kyle Pearson over damage to the defendant's car, prompting a series of tit-for-tat attacks.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Zak Bolland (left) and David Worrall are serving life sentences

Fuelled by drink and drugs, Bolland and Worrall threw two petrol bombs into the home of Mr Pearson's mother Michelle.

One of the bottles exploded and, within seconds, flames engulfed the house, killing Demi, Brandon and Lacie, who were asleep in a front bedroom.

Mr Pearson escaped with a friend, while his mother was rescued along with Lia, who died in hospital two days later.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites