A man who killed a mother and two children of Gambian origin by setting their flat on fire, has been found guilty of their murders.
Jamie Barrow torched the flat belonging to Fatoumatta Hydara, and daughters Fatimah Drammeh and Naeemah Drammeh in Clifton, Nottingham, last November by pouring petrol through their letterbox.
Prosecutors told a trial at Nottingham Crown Court that Barrow, who lived in the neighbouring flat in Fairisle Close, had a “grievance” over rubbish being left in an alleyway and watched the fire take hold while ignoring screams coming from inside.
Fatimah, three, and Naeemah, one, both died in the blaze on November 20 last year and Mrs Hydara, 28, died two days later, with all three succumbing to smoke inhalation.
Barrow, 31, had already admitted manslaughter but a jury of seven men and four women unanimously convicted him of murder on Tuesday after almost seven hours of deliberations.
He was also found guilty of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
Some members of the victims’ family, to whom Barrow apologised while giving evidence and who have packed the public gallery throughout proceedings, wept after the verdicts were delivered.
Barrow remained silent throughout.
In the trial, which started on June 12, prosecutor Simon Ash KC told jurors that Barrow had “walked casually away” from the fire after lighting petrol taken from his motorbike and set alight with tissue paper in the early hours of the morning.
The defendant, who admitted he had drank “seven or eight” cans of San Miguel lager before starting the fire, would have known that his victims were home due to a pram being left outside the door and a light coming from the hallway, Mr Ash said.
He added that after the fire took hold, Barrow “did nothing to help” those trapped inside the first-floor flat.
While giving his evidence, Barrow said he “can’t explain” why he chose to target the neighbouring flat but had formed the opinion that no one was inside as he had not seen or heard his neighbours in the days leading up to the fire.
He had been suffering from a “very, very low mood” and was “wallowing in self-pity” in the days and hours before his actions, caused partially by his emotionally unstable personality disorder.
He told the court he did not expect the fire to take hold as rapidly as it did and said he was driven to admit what he had done to police officers due to “an immense amount of guilt”, telling police: “I need to tell you something about the fire next door.”
The jury heard that Barrow found starting fires “cathartic” and gave “zero” consideration to the consequences of his actions, rejecting his assertion that he had not intended to harm anyone when starting the fatal blaze.
Thanking the jury for their service, Mrs Justice Tipples said: “This has been a particularly distressing case in which three people died and in those circumstances I am going to discharge you from jury service for life.”
Barrow will be sentenced on Friday at the same court.