South East Wales

Carl Mills, who murdered family in Cwmbran fire, has jail term increased

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Media captionGwyneth Swain, Kim Buckley's mother, said Mills should never be released from prison

A man who murdered three generations of a family in a fire, including his six-month old baby on her first night home from hospital, has had his jail term increased to 35 years.

Carl Mills's 30-year minimum sentence was increased by Court of Appeal judges in London on Tuesday.

Kim Buckley, 46, her daughter Kayleigh, 17, and granddaughter Kimberley died in last year's fire in Cwmbran, Torfaen.

Gwyneth Swain, Kim Buckley's mother, said Mills should die in prison.

The Solicitor General said he hoped the increase reassured the public.

Oliver Heald QC, who referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal for review, said: "It is hard to overstate the seriousness of this crime.

"Carl Mills murdered three generations of the same family, leaving a chasm of grief.

"I asked the Court of Appeal to look again at this sentence, as despite it being a life sentence with a term of 30 years minimum, the fact remains that Mills denied having set the fire and maintained that stance at trial.

"I am thankful that the Court of Appeal has today increased his minimum term to 35 years and I can only hope this offers some degree of reassurance to the public."

Image caption Mills's actions left a 'chasm of grief'

In the early hours of 18 September last year, 29-year-old Mills, originally from Manchester, set fire to a recycling bin in the porch of the family's house on the Coed Eva estate.

Neighbours had tried to rescue the family but were beaten back by flames.

During the trial in the summer, the judge Mr Justice Wyn Williams told Mills he had condemned the family to "an agonising death" and had shown no remorse.

Mills had started the fire because he wrongly believed another man was in the house, the court had been told.

He had sent a barrage of abusive texts to Kayleigh in the hours and days leading to the blaze in which he repeatedly threatened to murder her, their baby and burn down the house.

Ms Swain, who lost her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter, said: "Of course I'm pleased to see time added to his sentence, but it won't bring my girls back.

"He should die in prison for what he did - he murdered a family, including his own baby daughter.

"He will never know the kind of suffering that they faced. His punishment is not equal."

Mills, described by the trial judge in court as "despicable", resented the attention Kayleigh gave to their daughter.

Kimberley, who had been born 15 weeks prematurely and was blind and deaf, had only been released from hospital the previous afternoon after spending her first six months in a neo-natal unit.

In resentencing Mills on Tuesday, Lord Thomas said there were a number of "serious" aggravating factors in the case.

It was evident, he said, that "the murders of the three members of the family took place against a background of controlling and abusive behaviour by the offender".

Threats were made "over a period of time and on the day in question".

He added: "The killing was carried out by a fire which was deliberately set at the home of the family whom the offender must have known were asleep and in bed.

"The infant was totally helpless and vulnerable.

"It is also important to bear in mind that it was his own child that was killed by him."

Lord Thomas said it was clear that a "serious degree of pain and suffering" had been inflicted on Ms Buckley and Kayleigh before they died.

He said: "The evidence of the neighbours, which speaks of them shouting and appreciating the position they were in, shows that they must have been burnt to death."

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