Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Fire Trial Men 'Are Too Stupid' to Be Murderers

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Fire Trial Men 'Are Too Stupid' to Be Murderers

Article excerpt

TWO men accused of killing four children in a house fire are 'too stupid' to be murderers, a jury was told.

The trial of Zak Bolland, 23, David Worrall, 26, and Courtney Brierley, 20, heard closing speeches from their respective legal teams at Manchester Crown Court yesterday.

All three have pleaded not guilty to murdering four children and attempting to murder three other people in Walkden, Salford, last December.

Jurors have been told that Demi Pearson, 15, and her siblings Brandon, eight, Lacie, seven, and Lia, three, died after two petrol bombs were thrown into their home in Jackson Street at 5am on December 11.

Their mother Michelle, 36, was rescued but remains seriously ill.

But Mr Worrall's defence team said the two men were not capable of planning a murder. They also face an alternative charge of manslaughter.

In his closing speech, John Ryder QC told the jury: "Frankly they are too selfish, too self-absorbed with their petty quarrel and too stupid to see the likely consequences that would have stared anybody else in the face."

Ms Brierley also denies the charges against her, saying she did not know of Mr Bolland and Mr Worrall's alleged intentions that night.

Another member of the Pearson family, Kyle, and his friend Bobby Harris, both 16 at the time, managed to escape the blaze.

Prosecutors allege that the fatal fire was the result of a 'tit for tat' feud between Kyle Pearson and Mr Bolland.

Mr Bolland denies murder but admits throwing a petrol bomb which caused the fire which killed the four children, the jury was earlier told.

Mr Wright said yesterday that the jury should question whether Mr Bolland had an intention to kill.

Mr Ryder added that the 'tit for tat' feud with Kyle Pearson represented acts of vandalism, and that Mr Worrall did not intend to kill anyone. …

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