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22 February 2011, 11:35
A woman has been cleared of killing two of her children in a house fire in Derbyshire.
Fiona Adams, 24, was found not guilty by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court of murdering daughter Niamh, five, and two-year-old son Cayden in the blaze in Buxton, Derbyshire.
She escaped from the house in Edale Way with youngest child Kiernan by jumping from an upstairs window just before midnight on April 23 last year.
The prosecution claimed she started the blaze deliberately to create ``drama'' to get attention from partner James Maynard, who had cheated on her in the past.
Prosecutor Timothy Spencer QC said Adams' claims that she heard noises in her garden before the blaze, and her shouts of ``hello, hello'' - caught on CCTV - were all part of a charade leading up to her starting the fire.
But Adams, who has burn scars on her neck, told the court she would never have tried to hurt her children and did not start the fire.
Statement from Derbyshire Police:
Derbyshire Constabulary would like to offer its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Niamh and Cayden Maynard, particularly to James Maynard and all the grandparents.
The role of the police was to investigate the deaths of Niamh and Cayden Maynard and to achieve justice for the children and their families.
The evidence was heard by the jury, who felt it was not sufficient enough to find Fiona guilty. During our inquiry, we found no evidence to suggest that anyone else was responsible for the fire. In light of today’s verdict, the force will appoint an independent team to review the case.