Jonas Hankin QC secures convictions in double child murder

Mon, 20 Nov 2017

Following a trial lasting two weeks before Gilbart J sitting at Birmingham Crown Court, Endris Mohammed has been convicted of the murders of his two children aged 6 and 8 years, and the attempted murder of his partner.  Jonas Hankin Q.C was Leading Counsel for the Crown.

In the early hours of 28 October 2016, Endris Mohammed smothered his children with a petrol soaked cloth. He then scattered petrol around the living room of the family home, having tried to disconnect the cooker and sever the gas pipe that supplied it, ready to set light to the house where his partner slept upstairs.

That a conflagration did not take place was because the defendant did not understand that he had made the atmosphere inside the house too full of petrol fumes, and because the gas pipe connected to the cooker had been designed to resist being cut. The smoke alarm woke his partner, who was able to escape with the help of her neighbours.

The defendant admitted that he had intentionally killed the children, but argued that his mental responsibility for his actions was substantially impaired, so that he should be convicted of Manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility rather than Murder. He put forward no defence to the charge of Attempted Murder, putting the prosecution to strict proof as to his state of mind.

Several experts gave evidence, including two forensic scientists specialising in fire, a Home Office forensic pathologist and three forensic psychiatrists.

The defendant was sentenced to Life Imprisonment with a minimum term of 33 years, less time spent on remand. 

Follow the link to read a report on the BBC’s website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-42051742

Read the sentencing remarks of Mr Justice Gilbart: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/sentence-remarks-mr-j-gilbart-r-v-mohammed.pdf

Jonas Hankin QC is a member of the Crime Group at No5.

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