North East Wales

Prestatyn fire: Melanie Smith charged with fifth murder

Laim Timbrell
Image caption Liam Timbrell died nearly three weeks after the blaze

A woman accused of murdering of a woman and three children in a house fire has been charged with a fifth murder, on the day their funeral was held.

It follows the death of Liam Timbrell last week, who became the fifth person to die after the blaze in in Prestatyn, Denbighshire, on 19 October.

Melanie Smith, 42, is also charged with the murders of Lee-Anna Shiers, 20, her 15-month-old son Charlie, nephew Bailey Allen, four, and niece Skye, two.

She has been remanded in custody.

She is also accused of one count of arson with intent to endanger life and threats to commit criminal damage.

Ian Evans, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Following the tragic death of Liam Timbrell last week, we can now confirm that the CPS has authorised a fifth murder charge in relation to the Prestatyn house fire investigation.

"Accordingly, North Wales Police has charged Melanie Smith with a fifth offence of murder.

"Directions for the future management of the case will be determined at a hearing at Caernarfon Crown Court on 16 November."

Memorial service

Mr Timbrell, 23, was Ms Shiers' partner and Charlie's father.

He had been in a critical condition since the blaze on 19 October and died on 5 November at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester.

Ms Shiers died in the blaze along with her niece and nephew. Charlie died at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.

A private funeral for all five was held on Tuesday, and a public memorial service will be held at Prestatyn Parish Church (Christchurch) at 11:00 GMT on Wednesday.

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