Trio Jailed For Life After Five Killed In Leicester Explosion
18 January 2019, 14:07 | Updated: 18 January 2019, 14:29
A trio of "exceptionally callous and deceitful" killers have been jailed for life after murdering five people in a "bomb-like" shop blast.
Aram Kurd, Hawkwar Hassan and Arkan Ali destroyed a Polish supermarket in Hinckley Road in Leicester after plotting a £300,000 insurance scam.
The three men planned to douse the basement of the building in "many, many litres of petrol" in an arson attack on Kurd's supermarket in Leicester - destroying the shop and the flat above.
Shop worker Viktorija Ijevleva, 22, was left to die in the explosion because she "knew too much" about the insurance policy taken out less than three weeks earlier.
Ms Ijevleva, Mary Ragoobeer, 46, her teenage sons Shane and Sean, and 18-year-old Leah Beth Reek, who was Shane's girlfriend, were all killed in the blast on Sunday February 25 last year.
Ali, 38, Hassan, 33, and Kurd, 34, were unanimously convicted of five counts of murder and a further charge of conspiring with Ms Ijevleva to make a gain, by dishonestly pursuing an insurance claim in respect of the fire.
Ali, of Drake Close, Oldham, and Kurd, of Hillary Place, Leicester, were both jailed for a minimum of 38 years, and Hassan, of Eld Road, Coventry, was handed a 33-year sentence.
Passing sentence at Leicester Crown Court on Friday, Mr Justice Holgate said: "None of the defendants has shown the slightest bit of remorse for their wicked crimes. They were exceptionally callous and deceitful.
"I agree with the prosecution that it is plain beyond doubt that Kurd and Ali were both centrally involved in the planning of these crimes.
"It is plain from the way they both behaved in court and outside that they are highly manipulative and cunning individuals."
The judge added: "The arson attack on this terraced building was exceptionally dangerous and put the lives of neighbours and other members of the public at a high level of risk. The defendants caused an exceptionally high level of harm."
The three defendants were flanked by eight dock officers throughout the hearing.
Shopkeeper Kurd wept in the dock throughout as victim impact statements were read out and his mitigation was put forward.
The families of the victims were also emotional as the killers were jailed.