Guilty man kills mother and daughter in fire – BBC News

image source, Nottinghamshire Police

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Fatoumatta Hydara died two days after his daughters Naeemah Drammeh and Fatimah Drammeh

A man who killed his neighbor and his two daughters by setting fire to their flat was found guilty of murder.

Fatoumatta Hydara, 28, died along with Fatimah and Naeemah Drammeh, aged three and one, after their home in Clifton, Nottingham, was torched in November.

Jamie Barrow, 31, has confessed to their murder at Nottingham Crown Court but has denied the three counts of murder.

On Tuesday a jury found him guilty of the more serious charges.

The court heard Barrow had poured gasoline through the mailbox of the family flat, in Fairisle Close, on November 20 and set it on fire.

Juror was told he was unhappy with the trash bag left in the alley behind where he and the victims were staying.

Prosecutors said Barrow knew the flat’s front door was the only way in and out when he started the fire.

He claimed he thought the property was vacant but the court was told he had done nothing when he heard screams.

Ms Hydara and her daughter died from smoke inhalation.

image source, Nottinghamshire Police

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Barrow has admitted to murder but denies murder

Prosecutors said Barrow started the fire using tissue paper and gasoline from his motorcycle.

They said it would be obvious the family was inside because the pram had been left outside the door and there was light coming from the hall.

After starting the fire, Barrow was seen on CCTV walking away from the burning flat with his dog while smoking a cigarette, police said.

Emergency services attended the scene and police said Barrow later returned and asked officers “how bad” the fire was.

Barrow, who admitted to drinking “seven or eight” pints of beer before starting the fire, had presented evidence to police afterwards when detectives were treating the incident as a hate crime.

He later confessed his involvement to them.

Barrow was also convicted of one count of reckless arson, whether life was in danger.

Several family members of the victims, whom Barrow apologized for while giving testimony and who had thronged the public gallery during the trial, wept after the verdict was handed down.

He will be sentenced in the same court on Friday.

image source, Nottinghamshire Police

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Barrow claims he didn’t realize anyone was in the flat

Following Barrow’s conviction, relatives of Ms Hydara and her children released statements describing their pain and sorrow.

They said: “Words cannot measure how much our family has suffered because of the horrific actions of one person.

“We are also unable to measure the emotional, psychological, physiological and financial impact of the crimes committed by Jamie Barrow against Fatoumatta, Fatimah and Naeemah.

“His actions were completely heartless and cruel – and have caused multigenerational trauma that we will never understand.

“Fatoumatta was a caring daughter, wife, sister, mother and friend. If love and compassion can make a person immortal, he will live forever.

“He has a pure heart and is much loved for his personality and qualities.

“She was the most incredible mother to Fatimah and Naeemah, two angels who deserve a beautiful childhood and a full life.

“Nottingham and the rest of the world have been turned away from future teachers, civil servants, doctors – who knows what they might become?

“They lived a short but meaningful life, such was the joy and happiness they gave us all.”

image source, Nottinghamshire Police

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Police bodycam footage shows the moment Barrow was arrested

Ms Hydara’s family thank the Gambian community in the UK and internationally for the support given to them since the fatal fire.

They also thanked Nottinghamshire Police, the Crown Prosecutor’s Service and the jury.

Det Insp Kaz Smithson, who is leading the investigation, said: “Jamie Barrow committed the most heinous crime anyone could ever commit.

“He destroyed an entire family and dashed their dream of living happily together in America.

“Today, justice has been served for Fatoumatta, Fatimah and Naeemah and their families, who have all carried themselves with great dignity since this night of absolutely horrific crimes.

“Barrow denies the killing was intentional, but fortunately, my investigative team was able to provide ample evidence that this tragic event was indeed a homicide.

“We saw his lies and, luckily, so did the jury.”

image source, Nottinghamshire Police

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The family has been planning a new life abroad

After the hearing, Nottinghamshire Police said Barrow’s motive for starting the fire may never be known, but the jury heard one theory that he was wanted to be transferred by local authorities.

Ch Insp Karl Thomas said: “I recognize there are many members of the public who believe these killings are hate crimes.

“It is important to say that, after a very detailed and thorough investigation by a large team of detectives, the investigative team left no stone unturned to investigate the circumstances and provide evidence to the jury to reach this verdict.”

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