Fire deaths mum too ill for funeral

13 September 2018, 14:19 | Updated: 13 September 2018, 14:21

Firefighters at the scene of a house fire in Walkd

The mother of four children murdered in a petrol bomb attack on her home will not be able to say a final goodbye at their funerals as she continues to battle injuries suffered in the blaze.

Michelle Pearson, 36, was expected to head hundreds of mourners at the service for her children who died in the firebomb attack in Jackson Street, Walkden, Greater Manchester, last December.

But her mother Sandra Lever said on Thursday that due to "unforeseen medical circumstances" her daughter would not be able to attend.

Mrs Pearson suffered severe burns in the attack that killed daughters Demi Pearson, 15, Lacie, seven, and Lia, three, and eight-year-old son Brandon.

The mother-of-six had struggled to grasp that four of her children were dead and has been in hospital since the fire.

Her family said she had wanted to attend the funeral despite still being very poorly after suffering a series of infections that could threaten her life.

But Mrs Lever said in a Facebook post on Thursday morning: "Due to unforeseen medical circumstances Michelle want be able to attend the children's funeral on Friday."

After dozens of sympathetic responses, Mrs Lever added: "Thanks everyone it is sad but what is best for Michelle."

The funeral for all four children will be held on Friday morning at St Paul's Church in Walkden.

The children were murdered as they slept in their beds after Zak Bolland, 23, and David Worrall, 26, smashed a kitchen window and threw petrol bombs inside in the dead of night.

Bolland's bottle "exploded" near the stairs, blocking the only exit to the ground floor and trapping the victims upstairs.

Mrs Pearson woke up screaming "Not the kids! Not my kids!" as flames engulfed the house at 5am on December 11.

She was rescued with her youngest daughter Lia, who died in hospital two days later.

All four "died a terrible death" from smoke inhalation and burns, the trial of the killers heard.

Mrs Pearson's son Kyle, 17, had been involved in a "petty" feud with Bolland over damage to his £200 car, prompting a series of tit-for-tat attacks.

Bolland and Worrall were given four life sentences for murder after a trial in May and must serve a minimum of 40 and 37 years respectively before parole.

Bolland's girlfriend Courtney Brierley, 20, was jailed for 21 years for four counts of manslaughter.

Mrs Pearson had made a series of complaints to police and her housing provider Salford Council, asking to be moved.

An investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct is ongoing.